On Wednesday, May 30th, NASA held the “Transformative Lunar Science” talks in the James Webb auditorium at NASA Headquarters. Hosted by Dr. James Green, NASA Chief Scientist, the talks, which were open to the public, discussed cutting-edge science that is transforming our understanding of the Moon, and what we can still learn from our nearest neighbor. The talks included a panel discussion with Mr. David Schurr, Deputy Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, and Dr. Jason Crusan, Director of the Advanced Exploration Systems Division.

Three preeminent lunar scientists presented short talks on some of the biggest questions that the Moon can answer, followed by a Q&A and panel discussion on the future of lunar science and exploration. Dr. Carlé M. Pieters, (Brown University) spoke about the lunar water cycle; Dr. Robin Canup, (Southwest Research Institute) talked about the origin of the Earth-Moon system; Dr. David Kring, (USRA Lunar and Planetary Institute) spoke about how the Moon can reveal the chronology of the Solar System. The Q&A was moderated by Dr. James W. Head III (Brown University).


About the White Paper

The Transformative Lunar Science white paper is a recommendation from SSERVI scientists that provides a response to the question “What transformative lunar science issues can be addressed in the currently evolving space science era?”

SSERVI was requested by the NASA Science Mission Directorate SMD AA to produce white paper on key areas of lunar science in new era of lunar exploration. Senior lunar scientist and SSERVI PI Carle Pieters (Brown U.) led the team with experience in a wide range of lunar science dating back to the Apollo era; the team included an Apollo 15 astronaut and addressed human exploration relevance.

Areas addressed include:

* Establishing the period of giant planet migration
* Providing an absolute chronology for Solar System events
* Using accessible vantage from lunar far side to view the universe
* Understanding water cycles
* Characterizing the lunar interior
* Evaluating plasma interactions w/ surfaces

Additional focus was given to sustaining global leadership in lunar exploration, establishing lunar exploration infrastructure, coordinating planning & implementation of human/robotic partnerships, and optimizing commercial involvement. As this document was prepared for NASA, it emphasizes U.S. science and exploration programs; much of the future work in lunar science will be done in collaboration with international partners.

For more information, read the full Transformative Lunar Science white paper here.

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: NASA

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