53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
The 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), co-chaired by Lisa Gaddis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and Eileen Stansbery of the NASA Johnson Space Center, was held as a hybrid event on March 7–11, 2022, at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands, Texas, and in a virtual conference environment. Attendance was high, with 2,035 attendees (968 in-person and 1,067 virtual). Submitted abstract numbers were also high, with 1,960 abstracts submitted from 42 countries. LPSC continues to be accessible and important to young scientists, with student participation at more than 34% of total attendance.
LPSC began with Sunday evening check-in and a welcome event, which gave participants an opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues. Beginning on Monday morning, the conference featured four-and-a-half days of sessions, including such topics as the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover at Jezero Crater, Apollo lunar sample analysis, the current state of knowledge of Venus, scientific results from the Chinese exploration programs, and sample analysis from the Hayabusa2 project. For the first time, LPSC featured a full session of presentations and conversations on “Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in the Planetary Workforce.” The complete program and abstracts are available at https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2022/pdf/lpsc2022_program.htm.
The plenary session on Monday afternoon featured the Masursky Lecture, “To Venus and Back Again,” by Dr. Martha Gilmore of Wesleyan University. The winners of the NASA Early-Career Award, the 2021 Dwornik Award, the 2022 LPI Career Development Award, and the 2022 Pierazzo International Student Travel Award were also recognized. During the Tuesday NASA Headquarters Briefing, representatives from the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate addressed meeting attendees.
In-person poster sessions were held Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings and included topics covered in the oral sessions, as well as topics in other areas such as education and public outreach. A dedicated virtual poster session was held Wednesday evening for virtual and in-person attendees using iPosters and Gather.town. All of the poster sessions offered an opportunity for participants to network and share science.
Since 2013, the conference has engaged LPSC Microbloggers to use social media to provide real-time coverage of the science presented during the sessions. Combined with a social media feed at the conference venue and within the virtual environment, this coverage allowed participants to interact and share science results with their social networks.
Plans are already underway for the 54th LPSC, which is scheduled for March 13–17, 2023.
Visit the 53rd LPSC photo gallery at https://www.flickr.com/photos/lunarandplanetaryinstitute/collections/72157720483137214/ and watch in-person attendees describe what it feels like to be back.