Lunar and Planetary Institute

41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference  March 1-5, 2010  The Woodlands, Texas




Lunar and Planetary Institute
National Aeronautics and
   Space Administration

Northrop Grumman Aerospace    Systems

Steve Mackwell,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute
Eileen Stansbery,
   NASA Johnson Space Center



The 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas, March 1–5, 2010.   

Please note that we will not be providing conference bags this year, so participants should plan accordingly. Also note that the meeting rooms can often be quite cold, so participants are encouraged to bring a sweater or jacket.


  When:  March 1–5, 2010
  Where:  The Woodlands, Texas


This conference brings together international specialists in petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, geology, and astronomy to present the latest results of research in planetary science.

The five-day conference will be organized by parallel sessions of contributed presentations that emphasize planetary processes in addition to presentations related to planetary bodies. Selection of contributed abstracts will be based on the overall relevance of the subject matter to the conference and the quality of the science. All abstracts for special sessions, whether invited or contributed, must be submitted by the advertised deadlines for consideration by the program committee.

Mode of Presentation:  First authors may indicate a preference for oral, poster, or print-only presentation for most categories; however, some categories are limited to poster presentations only (for more information, refer to the list of topics provided in the "Call for Abstracts" section below). Where applicable, the program committee will make final decisions on the mode of presentation to ensure a balance of as many important new research results as possible.

First-Author Policy:  Two abstracts per first author, for contributed oral or poster submissions. (Invited presentations are the only exception.) Print-only submissions are allowed only under specified conditions and are limited to one request per first author. Read the abstract submission policies below for more information.

Oral Presentation Format:  10 minutes for speaking and 5 minutes for discussion and speaker transition.

Audio-Visual Equipment:  Laptop PCs and Macs and an LCD projector. NO option for dual-screen presentations. For more information, read the instructions for electronic presentations.

Poster Presentation Format:  Poster size is 44" × 44" (1.1 m × 1.1 m), to be affixed with pushpins to an 4’ × 8’ (122 cm × 244 cm) (inside frame) free-standing panel. Two presenters share one side of one panel, so displays must be confined to the specified limit.

Poster Viewing:  Posters may be viewed any time between noon on Monday and 10:00 a.m. on Friday. Two separate evening sessions will be scheduled.

The final announcement will contain poster installation and removal instructions and poster session details.

Conference Program and Abstracts:  The conference program and abstracts will be available on this website by January 20, 2010.


Authors submitting abstracts for special sessions should select the appropriate “Special Session:” topic on the abstract submission form. Submission to a special session constitutes one of the two abstracts allowed for contributed requests, unless a presenter is an invited speaker.

Special sessions at the 41st LPSC will be:

  • A New Moon:  Perspectives from Recent Mission Results
  • Characterizing Near-Earth Objects
  • Water in the Solar System


All abstracts MUST be submitted in PDF format only.

 Abstracts MUST be in U.S. letter size (8.5" × 11"); A4 submissions               will be rejected by the system.
           * Topic selections have changed considerably;
              for more information, read the detailed description below.

Submissions Deadline:  5:00 p.m. (CST) Thursday, December 10, 2009 (see U.S. time zone map).
** NO exceptions for late abstracts.**  Those having technical difficulty must contact us immediately (phone: 281-486-2142 or -2188) so we will have time to assist you.

Unable to Produce PDF Files?  If you are unable to produce a PDF file, you may send your source file (must be in Word or PostScript format) to the LPI no later than December 3, 2009. We will create the PDF file and send it back to you, but it will still be your responsibility to submit that PDF file by the time of the deadline. Source files should be sent to

The topic selections for the 41st LPSC have changed substantially. Selections now emphasize planetary processes, rather than planetary bodies. As a result, many of the topics from previous years have been either renamed or regrouped into other categories. As you select the appropriate topic for your abstract, keep in mind an important objective of the conference:  fresh, interesting, and informative sessions. Also note that some topics are limited to poster presentation requests only.

Topics available on this year’s submission form are:

  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Impacts
  • Planetary Dynamics and Tectonics
  • Planetary Igneous Processes
  • Planetary Differentiation
  • Exobiology
  • Cosmochemical Origins
  • Early Solar System Chronology
  • Interplanetary Dust Particles and Presolar/Solar Grains (including Stardust)
  • Small Bodies (including comets, asteroids, near-Earth objects)
  • Outer Planets/Satellites/Rings
  • Differentiated Bodies
  • Undifferentiated Bodies
  • Mars Geomorphology
  • Martian Geochemistry
  • Moon
  • Venus
  • Mercury
  • Material Analogs (including both physical and chemical):  Posters Only
  • Environment Analogs (including terrestrial operational analogs):  Posters Only
  • Planetary Mission Concepts:  Posters Only
  • Instruments and Payload Concepts:  Posters Only
  • Education/Public Outreach:  Posters Only
  • Special Session:  A New Moon: Perspectives from Recent Mission Results
  • Special Session:  Characterizing Near-Earth Objects
  • Special Session:  Water in the Solar System
  • Other

Note that the “Other” category should only be used for unusual cases for which NONE of the other categories seem to be appropriate. All abstracts must be categorized in order to be reviewed for placement in a session, so if you don’t pick a specific topic, someone else will pick one for you.

Abstract Limitation:
 First authors are limited to TWO abstracts for oral or poster presentation requests.

Authors may request any combination of two — but no more than two — oral and poster presentation formats (i.e., two orals, two posters, or one oral and one poster).

Authors submitting two abstracts for oral presentation will be asked to rank them in order of preference.

Invited Presentations:  Invited presenters may submit an invited abstract in addition to their two contributed abstracts.

Print-Only Abstracts:  Authors requesting a print-only abstract cannot submit an abstract for an oral or a poster presentation.

First authors are limited to ONE print-only request. Print-only abstracts are allowed only under the following conditions:  (1) from members of the community who will not be able to attend the meeting or (2) from authors who are NOT submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.

Use of Meteorite Names:  Information regarding the acceptable use of meteorite names is contained in the detailed instructions for authors. A representative of the Meteorite Nomenclature Committee will be reviewing the LPSC abstracts to make certain all authors comply with these policies. The program committee reserves the right to reject any abstract found to be in violation of these rules.

File Sizes:  Abstracts file sizes can be no larger than 1MB. Larger files will be automatically rejected by the electronic submission form.

The program committee will strictly enforce the above policies. Abstracts submitted in violation of these policies will be rejected.

Abstracts can ONLY be submitted in PDF format. Read the instructions above if you are unable to create a PDF file. Templates and detailed instructions are provided. After preparing your abstract file, you will use the electronic abstract submission form to upload the file containing your abstract (instructions are provided on the form).

Abstracts sent by e-mail will NOT be considered.

Abstract files must be RECEIVED at the LPI by 5:00 p.m. U.S. CST. Authors are encouraged to start early so our staff will have time to provide assistance in the event of technical problems.

Because of the number of abstracts received and the time required to process them, exceptions cannot be made for anyone, regardless of the reason.


Thursday, December 10, 2009
   5:00 p.m. CST
see timezone map)

Special Note:
    There are NEW topics for
    submission this year!


Description:  Each year the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America (GSA) gives the Stephen E. Dwornik Planetary Student Paper Awards for the best student research presentations, one for an oral presentation and one for a poster presentation. The purpose of these awards is to provide encouragement, motivation, and recognition to outstanding future planetary scientists who are U.S. citizens, as specified by the benefactor and GSA policy.

Eligibility:  The awards are open to U.S. citizens currently enrolled as students at any degree level in the field of planetary geosciences. Recent graduates, pre-college students, and postdoctoral fellows are not eligible.

Criteria:  Only one abstract per student will be considered for the award. The student must be the senior author of the abstract, and the material must not have been previously presented at another meeting. Judging will be based on both the written abstract and the presentation.

Application:  To apply for the award, students MUST complete the student award application form and MUST send the original application, with an original signature by their advisor, to LPI on or before the deadline of December 10, 2009.

Judging:  The Dwornik committee is looking for volunteers to serve as judges for this year’s competition. Those willing to serve as a judge should write a note to that effect in the comments box of the abstract submission form.

Awards:  Winners will be introduced and awarded a plaque and a cash prize of $500.00 at the following years’ LPSC. The winners of the 2009 Dwornik competition will be honored in the Monday afternoon plenary session (see below).


Sunday Night Registration and Reception:  Sunday evening, February 28, 2010, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center. The conference registration desk will remain open until 8:00 p.m. to accommodate late arrivals.

NASA Headquarters Briefings:  5:30 p.m., Monday, March 1, Waterway Ballroom. Open to all interested members of the community.

Plenary Session Featuring Masursky Lecture:  Monday, March 1, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Student/Scientist Reception:  Monday, March 1, Montgomery Ballroom, immediately following the conclusion of the NASA Headquarters Briefing. Reception will honor the Masursky Lecturer, 2009 Dwornik award winners, and all students presenting at this year’s LPSC.


The Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is again offering a special opportunity for exhibitors to participate and interact with conference participants. A limited number of draped exhibit booths will be available. For more information, including a description of the booths and fee schedule, please read the Exhibitor Showcase Information flyer.

The deadline for registration for the Exhibitor Showcase is DECEMBER 11, 2009. To register for an exhibit, use the electronic registration form provided.

The exhibits will be co-located with the posters in the Town Center Exhibit Area on the lower level of the Convention Center. Exhibits will be open from Tuesday, March 2, through Thursday, March 4.

Exhibitor Registration Deadline:
Friday, December 11, 2009
Through February 3, 2010 $200.00 professionals; $100.00 students
February 4– February 27, 2010 $225.00 professionals; $125.00 students
February 28– March 5, 2010 Onsite registration only
$250.00 professionals; $150.00 students

Credit card registrations:  Participants registering by credit card MUST use the secure electronic registration form.

Other methods of payment:  Those registering using any other method of payment (check, money order, or traveler’s check) MUST use the downloadable registration form.

Cancellations:  Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a $25.00 processing fee) will only be accepted through February 12, 2010. Those who fail to attend and do not notify the LPI prior to the February 12 deadline will forfeit their full fee.

Check-in:  The conference registration desk at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center will be open from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Reduced Registration Deadline:
February 3, 2010
Advance Registration Deadline:
   February 27, 2010


The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel is holding a block of rooms at a special rate for LPSC. The hotel and convention center is located at 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas, just north of Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). A map of the local area is provided for you.

The hotel is located in a beautiful wooded landscape on the The Woodlands Waterway, which connects The Woodlands Town Center with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for performing arts. As the name of the area suggests, there are many trees and pleasant outdoor spaces for walking and visiting.

Located nearby are many restaurants and taverns, shops, and entertainment venues. Shops and restaurants at Market Street and at The Woodlands Mall are located within walking distance from the hotel. Attendees may also access these two areas via trolley and water taxi services.

Special LPSC Room Rate —
The special LPSC rate is $188.00 per night with complimentary Internet access, single or double occupancy, plus applicable taxes (currently 13%). For an occupancy tax exemption, guests are required to show an occupancy tax exemption form in addition to proper government identification at check-in.

There is no charge for children 18 years and younger when they share a room with parent(s) and utilize existing beds.

To accommodate guests who wish to share the cost of a room with a roommate, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott has set aside all two-double-bed guest rooms in the LPSC block. These rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis as inventory allows. A maximum of four adults is allowed per room.

Please note:   When making a reservation for two double beds, the Marriott reservation system will issue a standardized response indicating that the request cannot be guaranteed, or that the room configuration is not available. However, as long as the reservation is guaranteed with a credit card or a first night’s deposit, the request will be honored. 

Check-in is 4:00 p.m.; check-out is 11:00 a.m. Guests arriving prior to check-in will be accommodated as rooms become available. The hotel will accommodate late check-outs subject to space availability.

To ensure a room at the special rate, reservations MUST be made by FEBRUARY 5, 2010.  Participants are encouraged to make their reservations early.  

Room Reservations —
Reservations may be made by one of the following ways:

  • The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Online Reservations
    The group code (LPSLPSA) has already been entered in the far right column. Upon submission of the requested dates, the next page will indicate the special rate of $188.00.

  • Marriott telephone reservations at 1-800-262-1509
    Specify “Lunar and Planetary Science”.

Reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card or accompanied by a first night’s deposit. All reserved guest rooms are guaranteed until 6:00 p.m. on day of arrival. Guests planning to arrive after 6:00 p.m. should notify the hotel at the time the room is booked. If travel plans should change due to delayed flights or other circumstances, guests should contact the hotel directly at 281-367-9797.

Cancellation Policy —
Cancellations may be made without penalty by contacting the hotel directly at 281-367-9797 prior to 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival.

“No Show” Policy —
Guests who do not check in by 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival without prior notice to the hotel risk forfeiture of room in addition to forfeiture of deposit.

Please note:  The hotel is a non-smoking property, which includes all public areas and guest rooms. 

There are numerous other Woodland area hotels located nearby. Conference shuttle service will be provided to all the area hotels shown on this list. Participants on a budget who want to share housing expenses may use the roommate search form provided.


Attendees staying at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott can take a Super Shuttle (713-523-8888) from either Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) or Hobby Airport (HOU). The cost from IAH is $23.00 one way; Yellow Cab service from IAH to the hotel is $50.00 one way. The hotel does not provide shuttle service.

* Tip:  Super Shuttle charges a substantially higher fee to hotels north of the conference venue. If your arrival time coincides with the times the conference shuttle is running (Sunday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday beginning at 7:30 a.m.), you should consider taking Super Shuttle to The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, then taking the conference shuttle to your hotel.

The Woodlands Waterway Marriot Hotel and Convention Center has two garages for guests and conference attendees.

Complimentary self-parking is available in the West Garage (Town Center Garage) located on Six Pines Drive. The West Garage offers easy access to the hotel and convention center via a climate-controlled Sky Bridge.

Pay parking is also provided in the East Garage located at the front of the hotel; rates are $9.00 per day for self-parking and $15.00 per day for valet parking.

Driving Directions —
From George Bush Intercontinental Airport:
  Follow airport exit signs to Hardy Toll Road North. Proceed on Hardy Toll Road. The toll road will merge with I-45 North. Proceed on I-45 North to the Woodlands Parkway exit. Continue to Woodloch Forest Drive. Turn right. Go to the second stop light (Lake Robbins Drive). Turn left and proceed 0.25 miles to hotel on left.

From Hobby Airport:  Take Airport Blvd. to I-45 North. Turn left, enter the freeway, and proceed on I-45 North to the Woodlands Parkway exit. Continue to Woodloch Forest Drive. Turn right. Go to the second stop light (Lake Robbins Drive). Turn left and proceed 0.25 miles to the hotel on the left.




More detailed information will be available in future announcements posted on this website (see schedule below).


For further information regarding meeting logistics and announcements, please contact

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2143

For further information regarding abstract submission or registration, please contact

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2142


Thursday, DECEMBER 10, 2009, 5:00 p.m. (U.S. CST)

Deadline for abstract submission
(PDF format only)

January 20, 2010
Final announcement with preliminary program
and abstracts available on this website
February 3, 2010
Deadline for registration at the reduced rate
February 5, 2010
Deadline for reserving a hotel room at the group rate
March 1–5, 2010

41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
in The Woodlands, Texas



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