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


D. Kring was invited participant at an International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) meeting in the Yucatan, Mexico, to plan a new borehole into the dinosaur-killing Chicxulub impact crater.  

While in Merida, Yucatan, D. Kring was also given a tour of a new museum exhibit that uses some of his group’s work with the Chicxulub crater.  

D. Kring was the U.S. representative at a European Space Agency meeting of its Lunar Sample Return Science Definition Team, which is investigating human-assisted sample return missions utilizing NASA’s Orion crew vehicle, ESA’s service module, and robotic surface elements.

A. Treiman participated at the Workshop on Venus Science Priorities for Laboratory Measurements and Instrument Definition, in Hampton, VA on April 7-8. Treiman served on the organizing committee for the workshop, and led its breakout section on surface instruments and measurements. In the next month, the report of the Workshop will be available, with specific recommendations on instrument development and laboratory measurements for continued study and understanding of Venus.


J. Filiberto, D. Beaty, and W. Kiefer (2015) Volatiles in Mars: Constraints, Questions, and Future Directions. Eos Earth and Space News, vol. 96, issue 8, page 10.

P. Byrne (2015) A rock-mechanical assessment of Mercury's global tectonic fabric. Earth and Planetary Science Letters.


P. Byrne gave two invited talks titled “The Interplay of Volcanism and Tectonism Across the Solar System,” at North Carolina State University and Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Field Camp

Application to attend the Field Training and Research Program at Zuni-Bandera Volcanic Field, New Mexico, led by D. Kring, are being accepted, deadline is June 15, 2015. This is a week-long field class and research project in and around the famous McCartys lava flow. The goal of the field camp will be to introduce students to basaltic volcanism and physical volcanology and to provide them with an opportunity to assist with a research project in the volcanic field. September 23–30, 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