Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute
August 2010 Scientific Staff Highlights Archive

Scientific Staff Highlights

LPI Staff Selected as Participating Scientists for Dawn Spacecraft Mission

LPI staff scientists Dr. Paul Schenk and Dr. Walter Kiefer were selected as Participating Scientists for the Dawn Spacecraft Mission as it encounters the asteroid 4 Vesta. Dr. Schenk will contribute his expertise with deriving topography from stereo imagery, and in interpretation of that topography. Dr. Kiefer will contribute his experience with geophysical modeling of gravity and topography to understanding of Vesta’s internal structure. Visit the Dawn Spacecraft Mission website.

LPI Scientist Walter Kiefer funded by NASA Lunar Science Program

LPI Staff Scientist Dr. Walter Kiefer has been funded as a co-Investigator on a grant proposal to NASA’s LASER Program (Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research). The proposal, titled “Density and Porosity of Lunar Materials,” is led by Dr. Dan Britt of the University of Central Florida. The densities and porosities of lunar rocks and soils are poorly known, but are absolutely critical to understanding the surface properties and interior structure of the Moon. Some of their preliminary results, with short description of this work and its importance are here:

Conclusion of LPI Lunar Exploration Intern Program, 2010

The LPI’s second annual Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program finished on August 4, with presentations from the two research teams. Nine graduate and undergraduate students are working in teams to evaluate potential lunar landing sites and their benefits for science and development.

Conclusion of LPI Summer Science Intern Program, 2010

The LPI’s annual Summer Intern Program finished on August 13. Twelve undergraduate students presented the results of their research at a conference, modeled on the Institute’s LPSC presentations. The conference program and intern abstracts will soon be available at

LPI Post-Doc Leads Field  Study of Impact Craters

Dr. Teemu Öhman, a post-doctoral fellow, led a field course to impact craters in Finland. This course, designed for doctoral students, was part of the Nordic-Baltic Network on Impact Research short course "Impact cratering in the planetary system - cratering mechanisms and shock metamorphism". The course program is available at Universitetet I OSLO.

LPI Science Staff Research Progress – August 2010

Clifford S.M., J. Lasue, E. Heggy, J. Boisson, P. McGovern, and M. D. Max (2010), Depth of the Martian cryosphere: Revised estimates and implications for the existence and detection of subpermafrost groundwater, J. Geophys. Res., 115, E07001, doi:10.1029/2009JE003462

Galgana G., and Hamburger M. (2010). Geodetic observations of active intraplace crustal deformation in the Wabash Valley seismic zone and the Southern Illinois Basin. Seismological Research Letters 81, 699-714.

Öhman T., Aittola, Korteniemi, Kostama and Raitala. (2010) Polygonal impact craters in the solar system: Observations and implications. Large Impacts and Planetary Evolution IV (eds. R. L. Gibson & W. U. Reimold) Geological Society of America, Special Paper 465, p. 51-66.

Schmieder M., Schwarz W.H., Buchner E., Trieloff M., Moilanen J., and Öhman T. (2010) A Middle-Late Triassic 40Ar⁄39Ar age for the Paasselka¨ impact structure (SE Finland). Meteoritics and Planetary Science 45, in press.

Lunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Blvd.
Houston, TX  77058

The LPI is managed by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), a national, nonprofit consortium of universities chartered in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences at the request of NASA. USRA operates programs and institutes focused on research and education in most of the disciplines engaged in space-related science and engineering. Institutional membership in USRA now stands at 100 leading research universities.

The LPI is operated by USRA under a cooperative agreement with the Science Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  

Scientific Staff Highlights Archive

Last updated March 29, 2011