Paul Schenk has been named the 2021 recipient of the Fred Whipple Award, the highest honor given by the Planetary Sciences section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The award recognizes “significant contributions to the field of planetary science from a mid-career or senior scientist.” During his more than 30-year career, USRA senior staff scientist […]
Paul Spudis (1952–2018) of the Lunar and Planetary Institute now has a place on the Moon named in his honor. Spudis crater is located near the Moon’s south pole and is 13 kilometers in diameter. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature recently approved two crater names:  Spudis and Marvin. Ursula Marvin (1921–2018) […]
At the NASA Exploration Science Awards (NESF), the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) presents awards as a means of honoring key individuals in the community:  the Eugene Shoemaker Medal for lifetime scientific achievement, the Michael J. Wargo Award for outstanding achievement in exploration science, the Susan Mahan Niebur Award for early career achievement, […]
The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) has named its prize winners for 2021. “We are delighted to honor the outstanding contributions of these scientists and science communicators to the field, which span an incredible breadth of topics ranging across the solar system,” said Professor Amy Mainzer, Chair of the […]
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson recently announced that the agency is creating two new mission directorates that will best position the agency for the next 20 years. The move separates the agency’s current Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate into the new Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD) and Space Operations Mission Directorate. NASA is making the […]
The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on the departure of Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California: “Under Mike’s leadership, JPL has accomplished some of NASA’s most inspiring science missions, launching and landing the InSight and Perseverance missions on Mars, the first flight on another planet, […]
NASA and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the United States are teaming up to bring untapped talent and diverse perspectives to several of the agency’s top priorities:  understanding and monitoring global ocean health, returning humans to the Moon through the Artemis program, and helping build a more inclusive workforce. NASA will fund an array of projects […]
NASA plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope into orbit on December 18, 2021, to serve as the premier deep space observatory for the next decade. The agency set the new target launch date in coordination with Arianespace after Webb recently and successfully completed its rigorous testing regimen — a major turning point for the […]
NASA has selected five U.S. companies to help the agency enable a steady pace of crewed trips to the lunar surface under the agency’s Artemis program. These companies will make advancements toward sustainable human landing system concepts, conduct risk-reduction activities, and provide feedback on NASA’s requirements to cultivate industry capabilities for crewed lunar landing missions. […]
Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, has announced a new global student design challenge open to student teams from any accredited university worldwide. The Over the Dusty Moon Challenge will address a topic of increasing practical concern as humans move toward a sustainable presence on the Moon’s surface. The challenge will task […]
NASA released its first digital, interactive graphic novel on September 25 in celebration of National Comic Book Day. “First Woman:  NASA’s Promise for Humanity” imagines the story of Callie Rodriguez, the first woman to explore the Moon. While Callie’s story is fictional, the first woman and the first person of color will walk on the […]