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Lunar and Planetary Institute

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Inspiration and Exploration Since 1968

1990s
1990
  • January 8-11
    Planetary Evolution and Early Earth History

    A workshop is held in St. Michaels, Maryland, to initiate a new study project entitled “Planetary Evolution and Early Earth History.” The purpose of the workshop, convened by John Allen, is to produce a document detailing the research to be advanced by this program.

  • January
    Human Physiology in Space

    LPI publishes Human Physiology in Space: A Program for America. This curriculum supplement, sponsored by the Life Sciences Division of NASA and the National Institutes of Health, is designed for secondary school biology programs, examining the cardiovascular/cardiopulmonary system by focusing on some of the experiments scheduled for the Space Life Sciences 1 mission that will fly on the shuttle.

  • February 14
    Voyager 1

    NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft takes a family portrait of six of the planets as it crosses an invisible boundary at 100 AU (astronomical units) from the Sun, leaving our solar system and entering interstellar space. Voyager 2, at 80 AU, is about six years behind.

  • April 24
    Hubble Space Telescope

    The Hubble Space Telescope launches onboard space shuttle mission STS-31. Hubble is part of NASA’s Great Observatories series, and is the only telescope ever designed to be serviced in space by astronauts.

  • October
    Earth

    Origin of the Earth is released by Oxford University Press. The book is co-published by Oxford and the LPI, and is an outgrowth of the LPI conference held in Berkeley, California, in December 1988.

  • October 22-26
    22nd DPS Meeting

    The 22nd Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society is held in Charlottesville, Virginia. LPI co-sponsors the meeting, providing administrative, publications, and logistical support.

1991
  • April 5
    Compton Gamma Ray Observatory

    The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory launches from the space shuttle Atlantis.

  • April 22-24
    Towards Other Planetary Systems (TOPS)

    The workshop on Towards Other Planetary Systems (TOPS): A Technology Needs Assessment is held at LPI. Convened by David Black and Kenji Nishioka, the purpose of the workshop is to identify and document key technology issues associated with the TOPS program in general, and with some of the candidate observational facilities specifically.

  • June 24-28
    Conference on Asteroids, Comets, Meteors

    The International Conference on Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991 is held in Flagstaff, Arizona. The LPI provides co-sponsorship and administrative, logistical, and publications support.

  • September 23-25
    Martian Surface and Atmosphere Through Time (MSATT)

    The workshop on Martian Surface and Atmosphere Through Time (MSATT) is held in Boulder, Colorado, signaling the start of the MSATT Study Project.

  • October 10
    Galileo

    Galileo makes the first spacecraft flyby of an asteroid, passing within 16,200 km of Gaspra.

  • November 15-17
    Girl Scout Science Education Workshop

    LPI hosts a Girl Scout Science Education Workshop on Youth and Space: A Science Experiment. Co-sponsors include the JSC Astronomy Club and the NASA Johnson Space Center.

1992
  • January
    New USRA facility

    Bidding farewell to the West mansion, the LPI begins operations in the new USRA facility on the corner of Middlebrook Drive and Bay Area Boulevard in Clear Lake.

  • April 6-7
    Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Lunar Resource Assessment

    The Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Lunar Resource Assessment is held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Co-sponsored by the LPI, JSC, and DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory, the workshop is convened by Richard Elphic and David McKay.

  • June 29-july 1
    MSATT Workshop on Evolution of the Martian Atmosphere

    The MSATT Workshop on Evolution of the Martian Atmosphere is held in Kona, Hawaii. The workshop is convened by Bruce Jakosky and Janet Luhmann, with administrative and logistical support provided by the LPI.

  • August 10-12
    International Colloquium on Venus

    The International Colloquium on Venus is held on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Convened by Steve Saunders and Sean Solomon, the workshop is co-sponsored by the LPI.

  • September
    Exploring the Solar System

    LPI scientists and staff teach the first session of "Exploring the Solar System," a course developed for the Alpha Program of the Clear Creek Independent School District. Alpha is a program for gifted and talented students in the district who are selected to participate in extracurricular courses that run the gamut from computer programming to marine biology to creative writing.

  • November 9-10
    Workshop on the Space Environment

    The Workshop on the Space Environment: Effects on the Optical Properties of Airless Bodies is held at the LPI. The workshop, sponsored by the LPI, is convened by Bruce Hapke, Mark Cintala, and Deborah Domingue. The result of the workshop is the formation of a consortium to study questions raised about the inner solar system and outer satellites by further observations, laboratory experiments, and studies of extraterrestrial samples.

  • December 2-3
    Workshop on the Geology of the Apollo 17 Landing Site

    The Lunar and Planetary Sample Team (LAPST) and the LPI co-sponsor a Workshop on the Geology of the Apollo 17 Landing Site. The goals of the workshop, convened by Graham Ryder, Harrison Schmitt, and Paul Spudis, are to review the geology and petrology of the Apollo 17 landing site and suggest profitable lines of research in lunar sample, remote sensing, photogeological, and theoretical studies.

1993
  • April 28-30
    Workshop on Advanced Technologies for Planetary Instrumentation

    The Workshop on Advanced Technologies for Planetary Instrumentation is held in Fairfax, Virginia. The workshop, convened by John Appleby, is co-sponsored by NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the LPI, and is attended by 296 scientists from the planetary science community and DoD.

  • May 15-17
    Workshop on the Analysis of Interplanetary Dust Particles

    The Workshop on the Analysis of Interplanetary Dust Particles is held at the LPI. Convened by Mike Zolensky, the worship is dedicated to the review of results obtained to date of interplanetary dust particles, consolidation of consortia results, and discussion of analytical problems that have arisen.

  • July 19-23
    Liftoff ‘93

    LPI hosts the Liftoff ‘93 Workshop for Texas High School Science Teachers: Off-Planet Exploration. Twenty-five teachers and twenty-six students attend the week-long workshop, with co-sponsorship provided by the Texas Space Grant Consortium and the Partnership Center for Education Enhancement.

  • July 26-28
    MSATT Workshop on Early Mars

    The MSATT Workshop on Early Mars: How Warm and How Wet? is held in Breckenridge, Colorado. Discussions at the workshop, convened by Jim Kasting and Steve Squyres, primarily focus on the controversy concerning the climate at early Mars.

  • August 28
    Galileo

    The Galileo spacecraft flies within 2400 km of the asteroid Ida.

  • September 27-28
    Workshop on Particle Capture, Recovery, and Velocity/Trajectory Measurement Technologies

    The Workshop on Particle Capture, Recovery, and Velocity/Trajectory Measurement Technologies is held at the LPI. The goal of the workshop, convened by Mike Zolensky and Glenn Carle, is to identify the state of the art for dust capture and recovery technologies and discuss current problems.

1994
  • January 25
    Clementine mission launches

    The Clementine mission launches. Jointly sponsored by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and NASA, the mission is designed to test lightweight miniature sensors and advanced spacecraft components by exposing them, over a long period of time, to the difficult environment of space. Clementine is also given the complex task of mapping of the lunar surface.

  • February 9-12
    KT Event

    The conference on New Developments Regarding the KT Event and Other Catastrophes in Earth History is held at the University of Houston–Clear Lake. The conference provides a forum for interdisciplinary discussion and critical review of new findings on the KT catastrophe, global catastrophic events through Earth’s history, and possible triggers for massive extinctions. Held immediately prior to the conference is a field trip to the KT clastic sequence of northeastern Mexico.

  • March 14-18
    25th LPSC

    The Twenty-Fifth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is held at the JSC Gilruth Center, with 826 in attendance. To celebrate, a 25th LPSC Anniversary Celebration is held at Space Center Houston.

  • April 18-19
    Mars Pathfinder Landing Site (MESUR) Workshop

    The Mars Pathfinder Landing Site (MESUR) Workshop is held at LPI. Convened by Matt Golombek, the purpose of the workshop is to discuss specific landing site possibilities, priorities within broad science disciplines, specific observations and constraints useful in choosing a landing site, and scientific questions to be addressed at each site.

  • July 16-22
    Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

    Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collides with Jupiter.

  • September 21-23
    Conference on Deep Earth and Planetary Volatiles

    LPI co-sponsors the Conference on Deep Earth and Planetary Volatiles, held in Pasadena, California. The conference draws attention to LPI’s intern program, as 4 of the 84 attendees were former LPI interns, resulting in a request from the Department of Geophysics at the California Institute of Technology for the names and addresses of the 1994 LPI interns for the purpose of recruiting them to Caltech’s graduate student program.

  • October 13-15
    Conference on Deep Earth and Planetary Volatiles

    The Conference on Chondrules and the Protoplanetary Disk is held at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Convened by Roger Hewins and Rhian Jones, the conference is held in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Institute of Meteoritics.

1995
  • February 3
    Lt. Col. Eileen Collins

    The space shuttle Discovery launches with the first female shuttle pilot, Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins.

  • May 12-13
    Planetary Surface Instrument Workshop

    The Planetary Surface Instrument Workshop is held at the LPI. Convened by Allan Treiman and Charles Meyer, the workshop brings together scientists and instrument design engineers to consider what scientific instruments could do from a landed robotic spacecraft.

  • June 14-15
    First Workshop on Discovery

    The first Workshop on Discovery: Lessons-Learned is held in Washington, DC. Convened by Mark Saunders of NASA Headquarters, the workshop is designed to review how well the Discovery Program is moving toward its goal of providing low-cost research opportunities to the planetary science community while ensuring continued U.S. leadership in solar system exploration.

  • July 23
    Comet Hale-Bopp

    Comet Hale-Bopp is discovered by Thomas Bopp and Alan Hale.

1996
  • February 12-14
    Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles

    The Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles is held at LPI. Convened by Bruce Jakosky and Allan Treiman, the goal of the workshop is to bring together researchers representing all the different aspects of Mars science in an effort to obtain an overall understanding of Mars as a system.

  • February 17
    NEAR mission

    The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission launches to asteroid Eros. NEAR is NASA’s first Discovery mission and the first mission to orbit an asteroid.

  • August 7
    meteorite ALH84001

    NASA scientists announce that meteorite ALH84001 contains fossils that may be the remains of bacteria-like lifeforms, indicating that microscopic life may have once existed on Mars. The 4.2-pound, potato-shaped meteorite is approximately the same age as the Red Planet. Controversy immediately ensues as scientists debate the validity of this claim.

  • August 13
    Galileo probe at Jupiter

    The Galileo probe at Jupiter reveals that Europa may harbor “warm ice” or even liquid water — key elements in life-sustaining environments.

  • October 16-18
    Workshop on Evolution of Igneous Asteroids

    The Workshop on Evolution of Igneous Asteroids: Focus on Vesta and the HED Meteorites is held at LPI. Convened by David Mittlefehldt and James Papike, the intent of the workshop is to exhaustively discuss the issues regarding the geology and evolution of Vesta and the origin of HEDs.

  • November 7
    Mars Global Surveyor

    Mars Global Surveyor launches. Mars Global Surveyor is a global mapping mission, carrying a suite of science instruments designed to study the entire martian surface, atmosphere, and interior.

  • December 12-13
    Workshop on Uses of Solar System Resources

    The Workshop on Uses of Solar System Resources is held at the LPI. LPI provides logistical, administrative, and publications support for this two-day workshop, convened by Mike Duke.

1997
  • March

    Proceedings of Lunar and Planetary Science, Volume 22

    LPI publishes Proceedings of Lunar and Planetary Science, Volume 22, the final volume in the prestigious and historic series.

  • February 4-5
    In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)

    The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Technical Interchange Meeting is held at the LPI. The purpose of the meeting, convened by David Kaplan, is to reinvigorate the technical community by means of a discussion of technologies that could be applied to the identification, extraction, storage, and utilization of resources derived from extraterrestrial sources and applied in a useful manner to future space missions.

  • April 24-27
    Conference on Early Mars

    The Conference on Early Mars: Geologic and Hydrologic Evolution, Physical and Chemical Environments, and the Implications for Life is held at the LPI. The conference, convened by Stephen Clifford, Allan Treiman, and Horton Newsom, is designed to promote the exchange of new ideas and rigorous assessment of the current understanding of the early martian environment.

  • July 4
    Mars Pathfinder

    Mars Pathfinder lands on Mars. The lander, which would be formally named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station following its successful touchdown, and the rover, named Sojourner after American civil rights crusader Sojourner Truth, will both outlive their design lives — the lander by nearly three times, and the rover by 12 times.

  • August
    3D Tour of the Solar System

    LPI releases 3D Tour of the Solar System. Created by Paul Schenk, David Gwynn, and James Tutor, the CD-ROM features three-dimensional images of the planets, their satellites, asteroids, and the Sun, allowing “armchair astronomers” to explore the solar system in vibrant realistic detail.

  • September 11
    Mars Global Surveyor

    Mars Global Surveyor arrives at Mars. Signaling the U.S.’s return to Mars after a 20-year absence, the spacecraft’s primary mission is designed to circle the planet once every 118 minutes at an average altitude of 378 kilometers (235 miles).

  • October 5
    Cassini-Huygens space probe

    The Cassini-Huygens space probe launches. A joint NASA/ESA/ASI robotic spacecraft mission designed to study the planet Saturn and its moons, the spacecraft consists of two main elements: the Cassini orbiter, named after the Italian-French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and the Huygens probe, named after the Dutch astronomer, mathematician, and physicist Christiaan Huygens.

1998
  • January
    Explore! Fun with Science

    The Explore! Fun with Science program is developed. The Explore! program is designed to engage youth in space and planetary science in the library and other informal learning environments through video explorations, related hands-on activities, and supporting resources.

  • January 7

    The Lunar Prospector mission launches from Cape Canaveral. One of NASA’s Discovery Program missions, Lunar Prospector is designed to perform a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon. The data gathered will improve the understanding of the origin, evolution, and current state of the Moon.

  • March 15

    Helpful Hints on Running a Workshop for Teachers

    Helpful Hints on Running a Workshop for Teachers, held immediately prior to the start of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, is the first in a series of LPI-sponsored workshops connecting scientists, educators, and media.

  • April 30-May 1
    Workshop on Using In Situ Resources

    The Workshop on Using In Situ Resources for Construction of Planetary Outposts is held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Convened by Michael Duke, the goal of the workshop is to bring together research scientists and engineers to address the possibility that significant savings can be found in the cost of early human planetary surface outposts through structural applications of in situ materials.

  • September 18-20
    Workshop on New Views of the Moon

    The Workshop on New Views of the Moon: Integrated Remotely Sensed, Geophysical, and Sample Datasets is held at the LPI. The purpose of the workshop, convened by Brad Jolliff and Graham Ryder, is to bring together diverse areas of the lunar research community to review the current state of key lunar datasets such as those from Galileo, Clementine, and Prospector; discuss issues involved with the integration of such datasets, and foster integrated approaches to address fundamental questions of lunar evolution.

  • October 18-22

    The First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration is held at the Episcopal Conference Center at Camp Allen near Navasota, Texas. Convened by Stephen Clifford, David Fisher, and James Rice, the purpose of the conference is to assess the current state of Mars polar research; discuss what is likely to be learned from upcoming missions; and identify potential science objectives, spacecraft platform options, and instrument suites for a Surveyor-, Discovery-, or Micro-class mission to the north polar cap within the next decade.

  • October 24
    Deep Space 1

    The Deep Space 1 (DS1) mission launches. The fist mission of NASA’s New Millennium program, the primary goal of DS1 is the testing of technologies to lower the cost and risk of future missions, with the secondary goals of conducting flybys of the asteroid Braille and of Comet Borrelly.

  • October 29
    John Glenn

    Thirty-six years after his history-making flight onboard Friendship 7 in 1962, 77-year-old veteran astronaut John Glenn return to spaceflight on space shuttle mission STS-95.

  • November 20
    ISS assembly

    Assembly of the International Space Station (ISS) begins. ISS, a research facility assembled in space, is a joint project among the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and 11 European countries, and upon completion will be the most expensive object ever built by humankind.

  • December
    Traces of Catastrophe

    Traces of Catastrophe, written by Bevan French, is published by the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Written for geoscientists of all kinds, the book provides a detailed introduction and overview of impact processes, crater formation, and shock metamorphism.

  • December 1-3
    Conference on Origin of the Earth and Moon

    The Conference on Origin of the Earth and Moon is held in Monterey, California. Co-sponsored by the LPI, Geochemical Society, and NASA, the conference is convened by Alex Halliday and Michael Drake, and results in the collaborative publishing agreement between the LPI and the University of Arizona Press for production of the Space Science Series volumes.

1999
  • April 28-30
    Workshop on Thermal Emission Spectroscopy and Analysis of Dust, Disks, and Regoliths

    The Workshop on Thermal Emission Spectroscopy and Analysis of Dust, Disks, and Regoliths is held at the LPI. The purpose of the workshop is to provide a venue where laboratory and telescopic spectroscopists and theoreticians specializing in thermal emission from dusts, grains, and regoliths can meet and exchange state-of-the-art results critical to the exploration of the physical and chemical nature of thermally emitting solids in the solar system, the galaxy, and beyond.

  • Spring
    ALTA Reflectance Spectrometer

    LPI releases the ALTA Reflectance Spectrometer® and classroom lesson package. The spectrometer is a classroom instrument designed by Dr. Allan Treiman to allow students (grade 5 through adult) to learn about visible light, invisible light, the origins of color, and the value of reflection spectroscopy of light in remote sensing applications.


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