NASA has selected five new research teams to collaborate on lunar science and lunar sample analysis research to support future lunar exploration within the agency’s Solar System Exploration Virtual Institute (SSERVI).
These new teams will work with existing SSERVI teams to maintain NASA’s leadership in lunar science in this new era of lunar exploration,” said Lori Glaze, director of the Planetary Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
SSERVI will support each of the new teams for five years with approximately $1.5 million annually, jointly funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. This challenge focuses on lunar science and sample analysis that will enable future human and robotic exploration of the Moon with NASA’s Artemis program and the Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative.
The work will take place in cooperation with American and international partners. These teams will join the eight ongoing SSERVI teams selected in 2019.
“Exploration and science are fundamentally linked, and SSERVI continues to strengthen that collaboration,” said Jacob Bleacher, principal research scientist within NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate.
“These new teams bring a wealth of expertise to help us better understand the lunar environment and prepare for human and robotic lunar exploration to maximize Artemis’ science return.”
The new SSERVI teams, selected through peer review from a pool of 14 competitive proposals, are:
• Lunar Structure, Composition, and Processes for Exploration (LunaSCOPE), led by Alexander Evans at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The team will investigate the evolution, fate and consequences of the lunar magma ocean, as well as the origin, abundance, distribution and isotopic composition of volatiles.
• The Center for Lunar Origin and Evolution (CLOE), led by Bill Bottke of the Southwest Research Institute’s Solar System Science and Exploration Division, located in Boulder, Colorado.
• Research Activities Supporting Lunar Science and Exploration (RASSLE), led by Dana Hurley at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
The team will lay the scientific foundation for the future of lunar exploration in the areas of volatile evolution in the lunar polar regions, solar system chronology, and cryogenic sample handling.
• Center for Lunar Environment and Volatile Exploration Research (CLEVER), led by Thomas Orlando at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The team will characterize the lunar environment and volatile inventories required for short-term, sustained human exploration of the Moon.
• Center for Advanced Analysis of Astronomical Materials Samples from the Moon and Beyond (CASA Moon), led by Charles (Chip) Shearer at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
The team will unravel the origin, evolution and chronology of the ancient lunar crust by analyzing lunar samples.
“I am incredibly excited to welcome our new SSERVI teams,” said Greg Schmidt, director of SSERVI at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. “Their wide range of experience across a wide range of lunar sciences will add to the great science we’re already doing and will contribute immensely to Artemis and the new era of lunar landing missions as we move toward a sustainable future on the Moon and ultimately Mars.”
Housed and managed at NASA’s Ames Research Center, SSERVI was created in 2014 as an extension of the NASA Lunar Science Institute. It promotes scientific and human exploration research in potential future human exploration destinations under the guiding philosophy that exploration and science enable each other. SSERVI members include academic institutions, non-profit research institutes, commercial companies, NASA centers, and other government laboratories.
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