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.
Resources to support the scientific research and exploration strategy of the Moon
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.
W. Kiefer gave a presentation on “Water Under-saturated Mantle Plume Volcanism on Mars” at the Workshop on Volatiles in the Martian Interior. He also served as a member of the Workshop on Volatiles in the Martian Interior Workshop’s Scientific Organizing Committee, November 4, 2014.
W. Kiefer gave a talk on “Density and Porosity of Lunar Impact Breccias and Melt Rocks and Implications for GRAIL Gravity Modeling” for the GRAIL science team, November 17, 2014.
E. R. Jawin, W. S. Kiefer, C. I. Fassett, D. B. J. Bussey, J. T. Cahill, M. D. Dyar, S. J. Lawrence, and P. D. Spudis (2014) “The Relationship Between Radar Scattering and Surface Roughness of Lunar Volcanic Features” J. Geophys. Res.: Planets, doi:10.1002/2014JE004668. Lead author Erica Jawin began this work as an LPI Undergraduate, 2011 Summer Intern under the supervision of W. Kiefer and P. Spudis.
D. Kring led a field trip to Meteor Crater (November 7-8, 2014) as part of the annual American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences meeting. The trip was designed to address both the planetary astronomy community (which studies near-Earth asteroids like the one that produced Meteor Crater) and the planetary geology community (which studies impact-cratered terrains throughout the Solar System).
W. Kiefer measured the densities and porosities of lunar and martian rocks in the Lunar Sample Lab and the Antarctic Meteorite Lab at the Johnson Space Center, October 14-23, 2014.
N. Le Corvec was a co-author for poster that was presented at the IAVCEI - 5th International Maar Conference, Querétaro, Mexico. A. Delcamp, N. Le Corvec, H. B. Mattsson, and M. Kervyn, “Maar fields along major rift fault escarpments: a genetic link?” #PS3-1-11. March 17-22, 2014.
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
Scientist positions available at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Student Research Grants
Annual awards for research funding in the planetary sciences