Lunar and Planetary Institute

NASA Selects the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration to Study the Moon

July 1, 2019

Shackleton crater


The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE) team, a joint effort between the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), has entered into a five-year cooperative agreement with NASA to collaborate on research into the intersection of space science and human space exploration as part of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI).

The CLSE team, led by Principal Scientist Dr. David Kring at the LPI, is one of eight research groups named to join the four current SSERVI teams. The new teams conduct fundamental and applied research about the Moon, near Earth asteroids, and the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos and their near-space environments. Work will take place in cooperation with U.S. and international partners.

“The discoveries these teams make will be vital to our future exploration throughout the solar system with robots and humans,” said Lori Glaze, director of the Planetary Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Through modeling and geochemical analyses, the CLSE team will track the distribution and form of volatiles from the early solar system to the formation of the Moon and subsequent evolution to today. This team will analyze the volatile cycle on the Moon to determine overall source and loss mechanisms and how we can use these resources.

“The CLSE team adeptly bridges the gap between science and exploration. Their work over the next few years will provide valuable input to NASA’s goal of sending humans back to the Moon” said Louise Prockter, the director of the LPI.

In addition to the LPI and JSC as the lead institutions, the CLSE partner institutions are NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA Ames Research Center, Planetary Science Institute, University of Arizona, University of Hawaii, University of Houston, University of Maryland, University of Southern California, and Western Carolina University.

The CLSE team was one of the original groups selected in 2008 to be a part of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (a precursor to SSERVI) and in 2013 as one of the initial members in NASA’s SSERVI.

Based and managed at NASA Ames Research Center, SSERVI was created as an expansion of the NASA Lunar Science Institute. It supports scientific and human exploration research at potential future human exploration destinations under the guiding philosophy that exploration and science enable each other. SSERVI members include academic institutions, non-profit research institutes, commercial companies, NASA centers and other government laboratories.

For more information, visit:

Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI)
Center for Lunar Science and Exploration
USRA Press Release


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