2022 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group

Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group

The 2022 Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Annual Meeting was held August 23–25, 2022, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, with the option to participate virtually. LEAG was established in 2004 to support NASA in providing analysis of scientific, technical, commercial, and operational issues supporting lunar exploration objectives and their implications for lunar architecture planning and activity prioritization.

Over 300 in-person and virtual attendees participated in the meeting from across the U.S. and internationally. The meeting featured invited updates on several topics including the Portable Remote Imaging SpectroMeter (PRISM), Artemis, the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program (ANGSA), the Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program (LDEP), Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), NASA Headquarters, international agencies, and community diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) efforts.

The meeting hosted several contributed sessions, focusing on highlights discussing sample analysis, lunar resources, instrumentation and payloads, lunar exploration infrastructure, and mission updates and concepts. The meeting also hosted a group brainstorming discussion activity to discuss science themes for lunar exploration from the Decadal Survey. LEAG Service Awards were given to Dr. Carle Pieters and Dr. Jeffrey Taylor to recognize their exemplary service to LEAG and the entire lunar science and exploration community.

The meeting also engaged and showcased the early-career lunar community by providing travel awards to 16 early-career researchers, including the Larry Taylor Travel Award, three B. Ray Hawke Career Development Awards (sponsored by the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, or SSERVI), and 13 Analysis/Assessment Group (AG) travel grants (provided by NASA). The meeting also included a featured early-career presentation given by Ph.D. student Nandita Kumari and a mentoring program that paired early-career participants with more senior members of the LEAG Executive Committee (ExComm) and the broader lunar community. The meeting also included networking opportunities for in-person participants via a coffee hour meet-and-greet with the LEAG ExComm and a welcome reception.

Findings were drafted at the meeting and sent to the LEAG community for input, resulting in six actionable findings regarding (1) development of the Integrated Lunar Strategy; (2) the importance of sample return from the South Pole-Aitken Basin; (3) engagement of the Commercial Advisory Board (CAB) with the CLPS providers; (4) plans for post-Artemis III exploration; (5) the need for a joint Specific Action Team with the Extraterrestrial Materials Analysis Group (ExMAG) regarding needs for lunar sample return; and (6) the need for a joint Specific Action Team with the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT) for data management and archiving approaches. Finalized findings are available on the meeting website.

To view the program, abstracts, recorded presentations, and findings, visit the workshop website at https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2022/.

— Text provided by Erica Jawin, National Air and Space Museum/Smithsonian Institution