40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 23-27, 2009, The Woodlands, Texas



   Lunar and Planetary Institute

Steve Mackwell,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute





The 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas, March 23–27, 2009.   

This five-day conference brings together international specialists in petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, geology, and astronomy to present the latest results of research in planetary science. The conference will be organized by topical symposia and problem-oriented sessions.


When:  March 23–27, 2009
Where:  The Woodlands, 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 also available.

Because the program and abstracts are published online, only a limited number of CD-ROMs will be available to PAID conference participants. All registered participants will receive a copy of the printed program booklet upon checkin at the meeting.

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 an 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.

Poster Sessions:  Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Town Center Exhibit Area.  Authors of papers scheduled for poster presentation must plan to be at their designated area during the time specified for their presentation.

Poster Installation:  Posters scheduled for presentation on Tuesday may be installed any time on Sunday afternoon or Monday, but MUST be removed at the conclusion of the poster session 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.


The special sessions at the 40th LPSC will include:

  • Monday afternoon:  Venus Atmosphere:  Venus Express and Future Missions
  • Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon:  Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang’e-1, and Chandrayaan-1
  • Tuesday morning:  Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn:  Cosmic Gymnasts
  • Tuesday afternoon:  Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn:  Salubrious Surfaces
  • Wednesday morning:  MESSENGER at Mercury:  A Global Perspective on the Innermost Planet


The location of e-mail stations and LPSC-supported WiFi area will be located in the Panther Creek and Woodlands Rooms. Presentation check in and laptop validation will be in the Sterling Ridge Room.  All rooms are located on the upper level of the Convention Center. Please refer to the Convention Center map for locations.




Sunday Night Registration and Reception:  Sunday evening, March 22, 2009, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Prefunction Area on the upper level of the Convention Center.

Plenary Session Featuring Masursky Lecture:  Monday, March 23, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Alan Stern will give the lecture titled “Planet Categorization and Planetary Science:  Coming of Age in the 21st Century.”

NASA Headquarters Briefings:  5:30 p.m., Monday, March 23, Waterway Ballroom. Open to all interested members of the community.

Student/Scientist Reception:  Monday, March 23, Montgomery Ballroom, immediately following conclusion of the NASA Headquarters Briefing. Reception will honor the Masursky Lecturer, 2008 Dwornik award winners, and all students presenting at this year’s LPSC.

Community Forum on Future Lunar Missions:  Tuesday, March 24, Noon to 1:15 p.m., Waterway Ballroom 4.

Closing Celebration:  Friday, March 27, 5:30–6:30 p.m., Acqua Lounge.  Stay and have a drink with your friends and colleagues compliments of LPSC to celebrate another great conference.

Education/Public Outreach Forum:  This year’s pre-LPSC education forum will be held on Sunday, March 22, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Convention Center.

“Reaching Audiences through New Media:  Lessons We Are Learning from the International Year of Astronomy” will explore how immersive new media technologies such as collaborative web environments, social networks, virtual worlds, and inexpensive and accessible production tools are changing the way that people interact, work, learn, and teach. These technologies provide high-impact opportunities for reaching an audience of young adults that largely is not accessed by, or accessing, NASA. What have we learned about these tools of interaction and communication? Join us to explore new media pathways, and to reflect on what we are learning from employing new media during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).

Participants will:

  • learn about paths for involving audiences in IYA through new media;
  • discover challenges and benefits in using various new media technologies;
  • share their own experiences and explore new directions and collaborations; and
  • actively use new media venues during the forum to share their LPSC experiences.

Participants should bring computers and/or hand-held mobile devices to participate. The registration fee for the forum, which will cover continental breakfast and lunch, will be $65.00. To register, please fill out the electronic E/PO Outreach Forum registration form.


NASA Headquarters will host two events at the 40th LPSC that may be of interest to planetary science researchers.

Proposal Writing Workshop:  Sunday, March 22, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Montgomery Ballroom.  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 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. 

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

Informal Planetary Research and Analysis (R&A) Reception with NASA Program Officers:  Monday, March 23, Noon to 1:30 p.m., Montgomery Ballroom.  Planetary R&A program officers and the Director of the Planetary Science Division will be available for informal interaction with researchers to discuss research funding efforts.  Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.


With our move to The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center, the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is now offering a special opportunity for exhibitors to participate and interact with conference participants. A limited number of draped exhibit booths will be available.  For more information, including a description of the booths and fee schedule, please read the Exhibitor Showcase Information flyer.

The exhibits will be co-located with the posters in the Town Center Exhibit Area on the lower level of the Convention Center. There will be no Combined Publishers Exhibit this year.


Groups who wish to meet March 21 to 27 at the Convention Center MUST make a meeting room reservation with Mary Cloud at 281-486-2143 or [email protected].  Please do NOT call the hotel directly to make such arrangements.

Through February 15, 2009 $185.00 professionals; $100.00 students
February 16–March 22, 2009 $210.00 professionals; $125.00 students
After March 22, 2009 Onsite registration only
$235.00 professionals; $150.00 students

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 28, 2009. Those who fail to attend and do not notify the LPI prior to the February 28 deadline will forfeit their full fee.

Check-in:  The conference registration desk at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center will be open from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

* Note:  Representatives of the media must present their press credentials when checking in.


The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel is now sold out for LPSC.

All reserved guest rooms are guaranteed until 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival. Guests arriving after 6:00 p.m due to delayed flights or other circumstances should contact the hotel directly at 281-367-9797.

Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations may be made without penalty by contacting the hotel directly at 281-367-9797 prior to 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival.

“No Show” Policy:  Guests who do not check in by 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival without prior notice to the hotel risk forfeiture of theroom in addition to forfeiture of the deposit.

Please note that the hotel is a nonsmoking property, which includes all public areas and guest rooms.

Area Hotels —
There are a number of other hotels in the area. Participants on a budget who want to share housing expenses may use the roommate search form provided.


Conference shuttle service will be provided from other hotels in the area to the Convention Center. Route information and schedules are now available.

We had previously received incorrect information from various transportation sources, so we made arrangements with our conference shuttle provider to provide shuttle service to and from the airports for a fixed rate. However, we have now discovered that attendees can in fact take Super Shuttle (713-523-8888) from either Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) for $23.00 one way or Hobby Airport (HOU) for $45.00 one way. Yellow Cab service from IAH to the hotel is approximately $50.00 one way. When you make reservations with Super Shuttle (either on their website, or by phone), make certain you receive a confirmation number. We apologize for the miscommunication, and any confusion this may have caused.

The Woodlands Waterway Marriot Hotel and Convention Center has two garages for guests and conference attendees. Complimentary self-parking is available in the West Garage (Town Center Garage) located on Six Pines Drive. The West Garage offers easy access to the hotel and convention center via a climate-controlled Sky Bridge. Parking is also provided in the East Garage located at the front of the hotel; rates are $10.00 per day for self-parking and $13.00 per day for valet parking.

Driving Directions —
From George Bush Intercontinental Airport:
  Follow airport exit signs to Hardy Toll Road North. Proceed on Hardy Toll Road. The toll road will merge with I-45 North. Proceed on I-45 North to the Woodlands Parkway exit. Continue to Woodloch Forest Drive. Turn right. Go to the second stop light (Lake Robbins Drive). Turn left and proceed 0.25 miles to hotel on left.

From Hobby Airport:  Take Airport Blvd. to I-45 North. Turn left, enter the freeway, and proceed on I-45 North to the Woodlands Parkway exit. Continue to Woodloch Forest Drive. Turn right. Go to the second stop light (Lake Robbins Drive). Turn left and proceed 0.25 miles to the hotel on the left.




For further information regarding meeting logistics and announcements, please contact

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2143
e-mail:  [email protected]

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

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2142
e-mail:  [email protected]


February 15, 2009
Deadline for registration at reduced rate
February 16–March 22, 2009
Registration with late fee
March 22, 2009
Registration (with onsite fee) and reception from
5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott
March 23–27, 2009

40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
in The Woodlands, Texas



Back to LPSC 2009 Main Page    |    Back to Upcoming Meetings Page