The LPI’s Lunar South Pole Atlas — A New Online Reference for Mission Planners

Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute

HOUSTON and COLUMBIA, Md., May 17, 2019 (LPI/USRA PR) — The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), managed by Universities Space Research Association (USRA), has compiled and made available an atlas of the Moon’s south pole ( https://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/lunar-south-pole-atlas/). Given NASA’s recent direction to implement Space Policy Directive-1 landing astronauts at the south pole by 2024, the LPI has compiled a series of maps, images, and illustrations designed to provide context and reference for those interested in exploring this area.

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NASA Makes Progress Toward Science Priorities Outlined in 2013-2022 Planetary Decadal Survey

In June 2018 NASA’s Curiosity Rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to snap photos of the intensifying haziness the surface of Mars, caused by a massive dust storm. The rover is standing inside Gale Crater looking out to the crater rim. The photos span about a couple of weeks, starting with a shot of the area before the storm appeared. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (National Academies PR) – Despite significant cuts to NASA’s Planetary Science Division budget early in this decade, the space agency has made impressive progress in meeting goals outlined in the 2013-2022 planetary decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, says a new midterm assessment from the National Academies.

The report notes that the agency met or exceeded the decadal survey’s recommendations for funding research and analysis, and for technology programs. However, NASA has not achieved the recommended timeline for New Frontiers and Discovery missions for the decade. At least one more New Frontiers mission and three Discovery missions should be selected before the end of the decade in order to achieve the schedule recommended in Vision and Voyages.
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Lunar and Planetary Institute Joins NASA’s New Virtual Institute

NASA_SSERVI-LOGOHOUSTON (USRA PR) — The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is proud to announce NASA’s recent selection of scientists from USRA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), the Johnson Space Center (JSC), Arecibo Observatory, and colleagues at six universities to be one of the nine initial teams in NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). SSERVI is a new organization that expands the scope of the NASA Lunar Science Institute to one that includes near-Earth asteroids and the moons of Mars.

The LPI/JSC team is led by Dr. David A. Kring, Senior Staff Scientist at the LPI and the founding Principal Investigator of the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration. Under the auspices of SSERVI, the team will continue to integrate science and exploration activities in a coordinated study of the Moon and the asteroids that bombard the Earth-Moon system. Those studies will include observations of existing near-Earth asteroids, studies of past collisional events in the Earth-Moon system, and the collisional evolution of the asteroid belt that delivers those objects to near-Earth space.

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Golden Spike, LPI Organize Workshop on Human Trips to Moon

golden_spike_logBOULDER, CO (March 18, 2013) – Golden Spike, the first company planning to undertake human lunar expeditions for countries, individuals and corporations around the world, announced today that it will hold an international scientific workshop in October to explore the kinds of landing sites, experiments, and geological traverses their astronauts will undertake on the Moon starting by 2020. The theme of the workshop is what lunar science will be like after 20 Golden Spike human expeditions to different places around the Moon.

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