Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Seminar Series

LPI seminars will be held on Thursdays.

LPI seminars are held from 3:30–4:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at USRA, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas. Refreshments are served at 4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Heather Meyer (phone: 281-486-2154; e-mail: or Julia Semprich (phone: 281-486-2180; e-mail: A map of the Clear Lake area is available here. This schedule is subject to revision.

Join the LPI-Seminars mailing list to receive email notifications about upcoming LPI Seminars. To join the mailing list please send an email to:

See also the Rice University Department of Physics and Astronomy Colloquia and the Department of Earth Science Colloquia pages for other space science talks in the Houston area.

June 2019

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - Lecture Hall, 3:30 AM

Bungo Shiotani, University of Florida
LPI Seminar: Project Life-Cycle and Implementation for a Class of Small Satellites
With advancements in miniaturization technologies, novel and innovative approaches to space and planetary explorations are being realized. An outcome of these innovations is a new class of small satellites referred to as CubeSats. CubeSats are popular within the space community due to their smaller form factor, lower costs, and faster development times as compared to traditional monolithic satellites. Currently, there are no project life-cycles that are suitable for CubeSat class satellites. For my dissertation, I developed a comprehensive project life-cycle for these CubeSat class satellites. The Containerized Satellite Mission Life-Cycle leverages appropriate aspects of various existing project life-cycles and engineering activities performed by the space/government agencies and the small satellite community. The efficacy of the project life-cycle is assessed through two applications, one is an actual small satellite mission known as SwampSat II and the other is a non-space mission known as DebriSat. In this presentation, the implementation of the project life-cycle to SwampSat II and DebriSat are shared.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 - Lecture Hall, 3:30 PM

Mini Wadhwa, ASU
LPI Seminar: Fire and Water on Vesta: Implications for the earliest volcanism and origin of water on asteroids
The asteroid Vesta is the second largest body (after Ceres) in the asteroid belt. It is one of the remnants left over from the earliest epoch in Solar System history that preceded the formation of the terrestrial planets, including Earth. Planetesimals like it likely contributed to the accretionary materials that formed the terrestrial planets. As such, understanding the sources of heat and volatiles (such as water) on this dwarf planet can potentially clarify the earliest formation conditions and volatile sources for the terrestrial planets. Although there have been no samples returned as yet from Vesta by spacecraft, a particular group of meteorites (called the eucrites) are thought to originate in the crust of this asteroid. These meteorites effectively represent a free “sample return mission” that likely occurred when these samples were excavated by an impact that created the Rheasilvia basin on Vesta. In this talk, I will discuss results of work that we have done on a rare unequilibrated eucrite to better understand the timing of the earliest volcanism on Vesta. I will also talk about our work on determining hydrogen isotopes and the abundance of water in several other eucrites that has implications for the source and the water budget on this asteroid – this in turn has implications for the source of water on planets, like Earth and Mars, in the inner Solar System.

October 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019 - Lecture Hall, 3:30 PM

Astrid Holzheid, Institute of Geosciences, University of Kiel
LPI Seminar: TBD


Previous Seminars

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

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