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Scientific Staff Highlights Archive



June 2010


LPI Summer Intern Program Begins

The LPI’s annual Summer Intern Program began on June 7. Twelve undergraduate students joined planetary scientists from the LPI and from Johnson Space Center to participate in cutting-edge research. The program is managed by Dr. Paul Spudis of the LPI. Research projects this summer include studies of: lunar and Martian rocks; and geology of the Moon, Mars, and Saturn's satellites. The interns have come from colleges across the whole U.S.A.

LPI Lunar Exploration Intern Program Begins

The LPI’s second annual Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program began on June 1. Eleven graduate and undergraduate students are working in teams to evaluate potential lunar landing sites and their benefits for science and development. The Lunar Exploration Intern Program is managed by Dr. David Kring of the LPI, to help integrate lunar science priorities from the NRC (The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon) into NASA's lunar exploration program. Specific targets for this summer's program are sites suitable for studies of impact cratering processes, and retrieving a diversity of lunar crust samples that can be used to test models of the magma ocean hypothesis. Results of evaluations will be compiled and shared with the NASA Constellation Program, in support of human and robotic exploration and development.

LPI Scientists Study Impact Crater

Dr. D. Kring and NLSI-CLSE post-doctoral researchers A. Wittmann, K. Joy, and A. Nahm did field studies the Ries impact crater, in Germany. This work is part an effort to build understanding of Earth's impact craters and processes as a baseline for new studies of impact processes on the Moon. While at the Ries, the team also presented three papers at a conference that celebrated Apollo astronaut training in the area. Dr. Kring's paper about current astronaut training activities was an invited keynote presentation.

LPI Scientist Invited Participant at International Workshop

Dr. S. Clifford was an invited participant and presenter at the "COSPAR Workshop on Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration." The workshop was in response a recommendation from the National Research Council, and was organized by COSPAR's Panel on Planetary Protection, NASA, and the ropean Space Agency. The workshop included ~30 invited participants (planetary scientists, biologists, ethicists, mission planners, experts on international space law, and others) to review current planetary protection standards and to recommend revisions to address ethical concerns raised by the human and robotic exploration of potentially habitable environments.

LPI Science Staff Research Progress – May 2010

Gross J., Treiman A.H., Filiberto J., and Herd C.D.K. (submitted) Primitive olivine-phyric shergottite NWA 5789: Petrography, mineral chemistry and cooling history imply a magma similar to Yamato 980459. To Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Robinson K.L., Treiman A.H., and Joy K.L. (submitted) Basaltic fragments in lunar highlands meteorites: Connecting sample analyses to orbital remote sensing. To Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences.

Filiberto J., Dasgupta R., Kiefer W. S., Kirchoff M. R., and Treiman A.H. (2010) High pressure, near-liquidus phase equilibria of the Home Plate basalt Fastball and melting in the martian mantle. Geophysical Research Letters 37, L13201.

Visscher C., Moses J.I., and Saslow S.A. (in press) The deep water abundance on Jupiter: New constraints from thermochemical kinetics and diffusion modeling, Icarus, In Press.