About Us Science Meetings Education Resources Analysis Groups The Moon

Science at LPI

The science at the Lunar and Planetary Institute is focused on the formation, evolution, and current state of our solar system through analysis of data and samples obtained through NASA’s long history of missions and exploration.  Our current major 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 Foci

Lunar Science and Exploration

Resources to support the scientific research and exploration strategy 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.

  Staff Highlights Archive


P. Spudis, served on Executive Committee and attended – Pioneering Space National Summit, February 19-20, 2015  Washington DC.

W. Kiefer participated in a meeting of the GRAIL mission science team, February 16-17, 2015.


V. Sharpton’s Solar System Workings proposal was selected for funding: Evaluating Crater Shape Variations on the Moon and Mars.


W. Kiefer gave a presentation on “The Density and Porosity of Lunar Impact Breccias and Impact Melt Rocks and Implications for Gravity Modeling of Impact Basin Structure” at the Early Solar System Bombardment Workshop, February 5, 2015.


A.H. Treiman and J. Gross (2015) “A rock fragment related to the magnesian suite in lunar meteorite Allan Hills (ALHA) A81005.” American Mineralogist 100, 414-426. LPI Contrib. #1824.

P. Byrne was a co-author (2015) “A rock-mechanical assessment of Mercury's global tectonic fabric.” Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 416, 15 April 2015, Pages 82–90.

Featured on the Web

D. Kring article was featured on Earthy and Space News, How Robotic Probes Helped Humans Explore the Moon—And May Again. February 19, 2015.

D. Kring article was featured on Earthy and Space News Human and Robotic Missions: To the Moon Again and Beyond . February 20, 2015.


P. Byrne, presented an invited talk, “The Volcanic History of the Planet Mercury,” at Geology Franklin College, Friday, February 20, 2015.

N. LeCorvec presented an invited talk, “Magma Propagation in volcanic systems,” at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, February 4, 2015.



LPI Summer Intern Program
Experience cutting-edge research with LPI or JSC scientist mentors

Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program
Work with a scientist mentor to integrate science priorities with NASA's lunar exploration initiatives

Positions Available
Scientist positions available at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

Student Research Grants
Annual awards for research funding in the planetary sciences