Lunar Crater Named After LPI Scientist Paul Spudis
October 12, 2021
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.
Dr. Paul Spudis (1952–2018) of the Lunar and Planetary Institute now has a place on the Moon named in his honor. Spudis crater is located near the Moon’s south pole and is 13 kilometers in diameter.
The International Astronomical Union Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature recently approved two crater names — Spudis and Marvin. Ursula Marvin (1921–2018) was a planetary geologist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
Dr. Mark Robinson at Arizona State University proposed their names in keeping with the policy of naming lunar craters for “Scientists, engineers, and explorers, as well as other persons connected with astronomy, planetary, or space research who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field.”
Dr. Robinson submitted the scientific rationale in his proposal, “I am the hopper Science lead for the Intuitive Machines 2 (IM-2) CLPS mission (aka PRIME-1). The mission is slated for launch in December 2022. The Nova C lander and micro-Nova (µNova) hopper are now being constructed. The IM-2 mission is a funded CLPS mission and the hopper is being carried as NASA Tipping Point technology demonstration. The hopper is slated to land in [an unnamed south polar] crater (the first ever vehicle to enter a PSR (permanently shadowed region)). We are working to identify and target sites near the south pole for investigation as future human and robotic landed missions. Communication between targeting groups will be greatly aided if key craters are named (science and navigation landmarks). We are requesting specific names for two larger craters (Spudis and Marvin). We are completing a geologic map of this area and it is now undergoing informal review before formal submission.”