William Jeffs
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Mary Cloud
Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston
RELEASE : J10-006
Results from Moon, Water in Solar System Highlight Conference
HOUSTON – Science results from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, Chandrayaan-1, and Chang’E-1 lunar missions will highlight the 41st annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 1-5 in Houston.

The conference will include presentations on the latest findings from these missions and special sessions on water in the solar system and characterizing near-Earth objects. Exciting new results from a variety of planetary science disciplines also will be presented. Leading scientists from around the world will attend to discuss these and other topics at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands, Texas.

Media may register to attend. For LPSC press information including links to the program, media advisories and contact information, visit:

Data from recent missions continue to offer space scientists new information and imagery to study. Launched June 18, 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at the moon five days later. NASA’s LRO mission is to seek safe landing sites for future robotic missions and investigate the lunar radiation environment. The primary objective of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) was to confirm the presence of water ice at the moon’s South Pole. The launch date of June 18, 2009, resulted in a 112-day cruise and impact at the South Pole Oct. 9. Updates and results from the LRO mission and the LCROSS impact will be presented.

Chandrayaan-1, launched Oct. 22, 2008, by the Indian Space Research Organization, was designed to map the lunar surface and investigate its properties. It operated until Aug. 28, 2009. The Chinese National Space Administration's Chang'E-1 was launched Oct. 24, 2007. It impacted the moon on March 1, 2009. Overviews and results from these missions will be presented.

Water in its various forms pervades the solar system, from traces of water ice on Mercury, the moon and Mars to some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Recent results describing evidence for water in the solar system and incorporation into primitive bodies are providing new insights into the evolution of our solar system.

"The research presented at this conference illustrates the breadth and depth of our increasing understanding of the bodies, processes and events making up our solar system," said Eileen Stansbery, director of the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Planetary scientists use this forum to discuss directions for future mission concepts and fields of inquiry to answer new questions uncovered by current research."

The conference is presented by the Lunar and Planetary Institute. LPI is managed by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), a national, nonprofit consortium of universities chartered in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences at the request of NASA. USRA operates programs and institutes focused on research and education in most of the disciplines engaged in space-related science and engineering. Institutional membership in USRA now stands at 100 leading research universities. For more information about LPI, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:

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