NASA has selected five new research teams to collaborate on lunar science and lunar sample analysis research to support future exploration of the Moon as part of the agency’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI).
“These new teams will collaborate with the 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 at about $1.5 million per year, jointly funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. The focus for this call is on lunar science and sample analysis to enable the future human and robotic exploration of the Moon with NASA’s Artemis program and Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative. The work will take place in cooperation with U.S and international partners. These teams join eight continuing SSERVI teams selected in 2019.
“Exploration and science are fundamentally intertwined, and SSERVI continues to strengthen these collaborations,” said Jacob Bleacher, Chief Exploration Scientist within NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “These new teams bring a wealth of expertise that will help us better understand the lunar environment and prepare for human and robotic lunar exploration so we can maximize the science return of Artemis.”
The new SSERVI teams, selected via 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.
- Center for Lunar Origin and Evolution (CLOE), led by Bill Bottke of Southwest Research Institute’s Solar System Science and Exploration Division, which is located in Boulder, Colorado. The team will investigate important questions related to the understanding of solar system origin and the conditions of Earth-Moon formation.
- Research Activities Supporting Science and Lunar Exploration (RASSLE), led by Dana Hurley at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The team will lay the science foundation for the future of lunar exploration in the fields of the evolution of volatiles in 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 near-term sustained human exploration of the Moon.
- Center for Advanced Sample Analysis of Astromaterials from the Moon and Beyond (CASA Moon), led by Charles (Chip) Shearer at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The team will decipher the origin, evolution, and chronology of the ancient lunar crust through lunar sample analysis.
“I’m incredibly excited to welcome our new SSERVI Teams,” said Greg Schmidt, SSERVI’s director at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. “Their wide variety of experience in a broad range of lunar sciences will add to the great science we’re already accomplishing and contribute immensely to Artemis and a new era of landed missions on the Moon as we progress toward a sustainable future on the Moon and eventually Mars.”
Based and managed at NASA’s Ames Research Center, SSERVI was created in 2014 as an expansion of the NASA Lunar Science Institute. It supports scientific and human exploration research at 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.
For more information about SSERVI, visit: