39th LPSC March 10-14, 2008, League City Texas



Dr. Stephen Mackwell,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute
Dr. Eileen Stansbery,
Johnson Space Center

Lunar and Planetary Institute,
NASA Johnson Space Center


The 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held at the South Shore Resort and Conference Center in League City, Texas, March 10–14, 2008. This conference brings together international specialists in petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, geology, and astronomy to present the latest results of research in lunar and planetary science.

   March 10–14, 2008
   League City, Texas

The program and abstracts are now available. Please note that author notification letters will NOT be mailed out, so authors need to check the program index to determine when and where their presentation has been scheduled. Downloadable files by session are now available.

Professional attire:  Because the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference offers networking opportunities for career paths, all presenters are expected to wear appropriate professional attire at the time of their presentation.

Oral presentation format:  10 minutes for speaking and 5 minutes for discussion and speaker transition.

Audio-Visual Equipment:  Laptop PCs and Macs and an LCD projector. NO option for dual-screen presentations. For more information, read the instructions for electronic presentations for a schedule of deadlines for presentation submission and laptop validation.

Poster presentation format:  Poster size is 44" × 44" (1.1 m × 1.1 m), to be affixed with pushpins to a 4’ × 8’ (122 cm × 244 cm) (inside frame) free-standing panel. Two presenters share one side of one panel, so displays must be confined to the specified limit.

Because of space limitations, tables, computers, video equipment, etc., cannot be accommodated as a part of a poster display.

Poster Sessions:  Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30–9:30 p.m., Fitness Center.   Authors of papers scheduled for poster presentations must designate — and post — a specific timeslot of one hour during the 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. timeframe during which they will be present at their poster to discuss their results.

Poster Installation:  Posters scheduled for presentation on Tuesday may be installed any time on Monday, but MUST be removed at the conclusion of the poster session on Tuesday.  Posters scheduled for presentation on Thursday should be installed after 12:00 noon on Wednesday, but MUST be removed at the conclusion of the poster session on Thursday.  Any remaining posters will be discarded.

Poster Viewing:  Posters may be viewed during the day, as well as during the two separate evening sessions (at which authors will be present at designated timeslots for presentations).




Special Session on MESSENGER at Mercury:  On January 14, 2008, MESSENGER was the first spacecraft to fly near Mercury in nearly 33 years. This session will feature images of portions of the surface never before seen by spacecraft, data from the first high-resolution spectral reflectance measurements (UV to near-IR) of surface composition, the deepest penetration yet into Mercury’s magnetosphere, the first spacecraft altimetric measurements of surface topography on the planet, searches for previously undetected species in Mercury’s surface-based exosphere, and discussion on limits provided by the geochemical remote-sensing instruments.

Special Session on Lunar Science:  Past, Present, and Future on the Moon:  This session will focus on the current state of lunar science and the role of future missions in addressing outstanding issues.  The session has been constructed from a combination of invited and contributed talks.  Lunar science topics include lunar bulk composition and its relation to processes during lunar origin, lunar differentiation (from the magma ocean to the most recent magmatism), bulk composition of the crust, current views of the cataclysmic bombardment hypothesis, and lunar polar science.  Discussion of future missions will focus on network science and their synergism with orbital, robotic landed mission (including sample returns), and human missions.

Special Session on Results from the Kaguya (SELENE) Mission to the Moon:  The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Kaguya (SELENE) on September 14, 2007.  The major objectives of the Kaguya mission are to obtain scientific data of the lunar origin and evolution and to develop the technology for the future lunar exploration.  Kaguya consists of a main orbiting satellite at approximately 100 km altitude and two small satellites (Relay Satellite and VRAD Satellite) in polar orbit.  The orbiters will carry instruments for scientific investigation of the Moon, on the Moon, and from the Moon.  Presentations in this session will describe the early science results of the mission, with new data from the various instruments on the spacecraft.


The location of e-mail stations, the LPSC-supported WiFi area, and the area for submission of CDs for electronic presentations and laptop validation will be located in the Poolside Salon on the lower level of South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center.  (Refer to the conference center map for the location of the Poolside Salon.)




Sunday Night Registration and Reception:  Sunday evening, March 9, 5:00–8:00 p.m., LPI (see area map). Shuttle buses will operate from selected hotels to LPI on Sunday night.

Plenary Session Featuring Masursky Lecture:  Monday, March 10, 1:30–2:30 p.m., Crystal Ballroom A.  Dr. Robert Pepin, professor at the University of Minnesota and former Director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, will give the lecture titled “The First Look at Stardust’s Comet Cargo.”

NASA Headquarters SMD/ESMD Briefings:  5:30 p.m., Monday, March 10, featuring Michael Griffin; 12:10 p.m., Wednesday, March 12, featuring Alan Stern; and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 12, featuring Jim Green. All three briefings will be held in Crystal Ballroom A. Open to all interested members of the community.

Student/Scientist Reception:  Monday, March 10, Marina Plaza Ballroom, immediately following the conclusion of the NASA Headquarters' Briefing. Reception will honor the Masursky Lecturer, 2007 Dwornik award winners, and all students presenting at this year’s LPSC.

Overview of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission:  Thursday, March 13, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Marina Plaza Ballroom.  In October the U.S. will launch LRO, a spacecraft and payload designed to provide a multidisciplinary global map of the Moon for scientific and exploration purposes. The payload includes LROC (a high- and low-resolution imaging system), LOLA (laser altimeter), DRLE (thermal radiometer), CRATER (cosmic-ray telescope), LEND (neutron spectrometer), mini-RF (SAR imaging system), and LAMP (ultraviolet imaging system). The session will provide an overview of the mission and presentations regarding the instruments, their characteristics, and the scientific questions they will address.

Combined Publishers Exhibit:  Featuring new publications in the fields of lunar and planetary sciences, astronomy, astrophysics, geology, geophysics, atmospheric sciences, mathematics, computer science applications, remote sensing, and image processing applications. A comprehensive exhibit catalog listing all participating publishers, all items on display, and contact information will be made available to conference participants at the exhibit.

Note:  This is NOT a book sale. All submitted exhibit items are for DISPLAY ONLY.

Publishers and authors are invited to submit materials related to these fields for display at this exhibit at no charge. Materials sent for the exhibit will become the property of the Lunar and Planetary Institute and will not be returned.

Deadline for submitting materials is February 15, 2008. For more information, contact Linda Chappell, Combined Publishers Exhibit Coordinator, at 281-486-2103 or [email protected].


NASA Headquarters will host four events at the 39th LPSC that may be of interest to planetary science researchers.

Proposal Writing Workshop:  Sunday, March 9, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Oasis Room.  The workshop is open to all interested planetary scientists from senior graduate students to senior scientists.  There will be no charge for the workshop.  The morning session will focus on understanding NASA’s research programs and will include information on how to write a research proposal, where to apply for funding, and what kind of feedback one can expect.  Other opportunities for funding, such as participating scientist programs and education/public outreach add-on awards, will also be discussed.  The afternoon session will be a Mock Peer Review for participants who are ready to apply for grants and want to understand what happens to their proposal after submission.  Lunch will be provided.

To register, send an e-mail with your name, affiliation, and current position to [email protected].

NASA Headquarters R & A Town Hall with Yvonne Pendleton, Senior Advisor for R & A:  Monday, March 10, 12:10 to 1:30 p.m., Crystal Ballroom A.  Yvonne Pendleton will lead a discussion focusing on NASA’s strategic directions in the R&A programs within the NASA Science Mission Directorate, including process changes to facilitate research activities.  This discussion is also open to questions or expressions of concern regarding the education and public outreach program within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Light hors d'oevres will be served.

Informal Planetary Research and Analysis (R&A) Reception with NASA Program Officers:  Tuesday, March 11, Noon to 1:30 p.m., Harbour Club.  Planetary R&A program officers, the Director of the Planetary Science Division, and the Senior Advisor for R&A will be available for informal interaction with researchers to discuss research funding efforts.  Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Improving NASA’s Announcements of Opportunity:  Community Input with Paul Hertz, SMD Senior Advisor for Science and Process and Ethics:  Thursday, March 13, 12:10 to 1:30 p.m., Marina Plaza Ballroom.  Alan Stern, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, has initiated an effort to simplify mission Announcements of Opportunity (such as Explorer, Discovery, Mars Scout, etc.).  Any simplification must still result in NASA being able to evaluate the feasibility of proposed missions and in mission teams being prepared for Phase A if they are selected.  The first step of this effort is to gather information.  NASA is seeking community input in all areas including the current AO, the current two-step selection process, and suggestions for improving both.  This discussion will start with a brief presentation by NASA of the goals and constraints on the mission AO process, followed by an opportunity for members of the proposing community to offer their input.  Paul Hertz will lead the discussion.


E/PO activities associated with this year’s LPSC include a pre-conference workshop entitled “Reaching the Moon” (Sunday, March 9 at 8:30 a.m.); displays of outreach programs and activities (Sunday evening, March 9 at 5:00 p.m.); a variety of educator workshops conducted by space science mission specialists throughout the week of the conference; and the education posters in the Tuesday night poster session.

For more more details about LPSC-related E/PO activities, including registration forms, visit the LPSC Education/Public Outreach Activities website.

  All conference attendees MUST register in order to attend any of the technical sessions (oral and poster).

Through February 15, 2008   $125.00 professional / $80.00 student
February 16–29, 2008   $150.00 professional / $105.00 student
After February 29, 2008   Onsite Registration Only
$175.00 professional / $130.00 student

Currency exchange issues: 
Foreign participants who state on the registration form that they have a currency exchange problem may pay in cash at the meeting and avoid late fees if they return the form by February 15, 2008.

Credit card registrations:  Participants registering by credit card MUST use the secure electronic registration form.

Other methods of payment:  Those registering using any other method of payment (check, money order, or traveler’s check) MUST use the downloadable registration form.

Cancellations:  Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a $25.00 processing fee) will only be accepted through February 29, 2008. Those who fail to attend and do not notify the LPI prior to the February 29 deadline will forfeit their full fee.

Check-in:  Participants arriving on Sunday evening may register at the LPI from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. (see “Highlighted Events” above). Participants arriving after Sunday night will be able to register at South Shore Harbour between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, located at 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City, Texas, on the shores of Clear Lake, is SOLD OUT.  Participants may check with the hotel, however, to determine any availability due to cancellations.  Call the hotel directly at 800-442-5005 or 281-334-1000.

There are a number of other hotels in the area. When making reservations, you can ask if they offer any special rates for LPSC participants. The local area map shows the locations of the LPI, South Shore Harbour, and other local hotels. Participants on a budget who want to share housing expenses may use the roommate search form provided.


The Houston metropolitan area is primarily served by two airports:  George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), approximately 47 miles from South Shore Harbour, and William P. Hobby (HOU), approximately 20 miles from South Shore Harbour. Visit the Houston Airport System webpage for more information on both airports.

Galveston Limousine Service
provides continuous shuttle service from both George Bush Intercontinental Airport ($70.00 round trip per person) and Hobby Airport ($60.00 round trip per person). Reservations for Galveston Limousine may be made via their Web site at www.galvestonlimo.com or by calling 1-800-640-4826.

Clear Lake Shuttle (281-334-3873), located in the lobby of South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, is available to provide transportation to or from George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Hobby Airport. Contact them directly for current rate information.

The shuttle service schedule for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is divided into separate routes depending on the location of the hotels. You may find which route your hotel is on by looking at the 2008 Hotel List by Shuttle Route. Then you can click on the link to each individual color-coded shuttle route information sheet. This will include all the times for pick up at the various hotels for the Sunday Night Open House/Registration at the LPI and each day/afternoon/evening of the conference.

If you are staying at the South Shore Harbour Hotel and need shuttle service to the Sunday Night Open House/Registration at the LPI, you may download the South Shore Harbour Hotel—Sunday Night Shuttle Schedule.

    For further information regarding conference logistics, contact

Mary Cloud
phone: 281-486-2143;
fax: 281-486-2125;
e-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding registration or the online program and abstracts, contact   

Linda Tanner
phone: 281-486-2142;
fax: 281-486-2125;
e-mail:  [email protected]

February 15, 2008  
Deadline for registration at reduced rate
February 16–29, 2008  
Registration with late fee
February 29, 2008  
All preregistration closed
March 10–14, 2008  
39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
in League City, Texas


Back to LPSC 2008 Main Page   |   Back to Upcoming Meetings Page