Exploration Science Summer Intern Program

Exploration Science Summer Intern Program

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is hosting a special summer intern program to involve students in activities that support missions to the Moon that utilize the Orion crew vehicle, the Deep Space Gateway, a crew lander, and other new assets that are being developed for missions beyond low-Earth orbit. A new program, called Artemis, is scheduled to land two astronauts near the lunar south pole in 2024, followed by a series of crew landings that broaden our exploration of the lunar surface. This program will provide a unique opportunity to integrate scientific input with exploration activities in a way that mission architects and spacecraft engineers can use. Activities may involve assessments of landing sites and traverse plans for multiple destinations that are responsive to NASA objectives. The LPI invites applications from graduate students in geology, planetary science, and related programs.

The Exploration Science Summer Intern Program builds on the success of the Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program that was designed to evaluate possible landing sites on the Moon for robotic and human exploration missions. Over a five-year period (2008–2012), teams of students worked with LPI science staff and their collaborators to produce A Global Lunar Landing Site Study to Provide the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon. The program for 2021 is designed to have the same impact on future exploration activities. This will be a unique team activity that should foster extensive discussions among students and senior science team members.

The 10-week program runs from June 1, 2021, through August 6, 2021. Selected interns will receive a $6,300 stipend, and up to a $1,000 travel expense reimbursement for U.S. citizens, or up to $1,500 for foreign nationals.

We are currently planning to host the program in Houston. However, if the pandemic continues to restrict onsite activities, a virtual edition of the program will persevere.

The deadline for applying for the 2021 program is January 15, 2021. Selected candidates will be notified on March 15, 2021. For more information, including eligibility and selection criteria, areas of research, and an online application form, please visit https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration_intern/.