The LPI maintains a resident scientific staff whose main tasks are to provide the planetary expertise necessary for the Institute to achieve its goals, and to maintain their scientific proficiency through peer-reviewed research activities.
Scientific Areas of Research
LPI research topics include the origin and evolution of the early solar system, petrology and geochemistry of planetary materials and volatiles, planetary interiors, volcanism and tectonism, and impact cratering. Research interests range from Venus to Pluto and the icy moons of Neptune.
- Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial Materials (CAPTEM)
Chartered by the Discipline Scientist for NASA's Cosmochemistry Program to advise on matters concerning the Apollo lunar samples, sample return missions, and solid materials of the solar system
- Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG)
NASA's community-based forum designed to provide scientific input and technology development plans for planning and prioritizing the exploration of Venus over the next several decades, including a Venus surface sample return
- Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG)
NASA's community-based forum designed to provide science input for planning and prioritizing outer planet exploration activities for the next several decades
- Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG)
Chartered by NASA Headquarters to assist in planning the scientific exploration of the Moon
Center for Lunar Science and Exploration
The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration is part of the NASA Lunar Science Institute and is designed to investigate lunar science issues, develop strategies for future lunar exploration, and train a new community of talent that will be needed to assure the success of the Constellation Program.
Summer Intern Alumni
Since 1977, groups of undergraduate student interns have spent part of their summer performing research at the LPI or with the JSC Astromaterials group. For many interns, this was a defining moment in their careers, when they decided whether or not to follow an academic path. While past interns can be found all over the world and in a wide variety of occupations, all share the common bond of that summer in Houston.
Summer Intern Program
The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites undergraduates to experience cutting-edge research in the planetary sciences through our Summer Intern Program. As a Summer Intern, you would work one-on-one with a scientist at the LPI or at the NASA Johnson Space Center to complete a research project of current interest in planetary science. The Summer Intern program allows participants to experience a real research environment, to learn from top-notch planetary scientists, and to preview careers in research.
Summer Lunar Study Program
The Lunar and Planetary Institute hosts this special summer intern program to evaluate possible landing sites for robotic and human exploration missions. Interns will work with LPI science staff and other collaborators. The program is open to graduate students in geology, planetary science, and related programs. It is also open to undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit.
Student Research Grants
Annual awards for research funding in the planetary sciences
Description of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scientist positions available at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI).
Last updated November 4, 2010