Summer Science Saturday

Summer Science Saturday is the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory’s free, annual open house; activities take place in the Kuiper Space Sciences building at 1629 E. University Blvd.

LPL Summer Science Saturday, NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission, Dr. Dante Lauretta

Summer Science Saturday 2020

Professor Dante Lauretta, Principal Investigator for NASA's OSIRIS-REx 

OSIRIS-REx has traveled to Bennu, a carbon-rich, near-Earth asteroid. The spacecraft launched on September 8, 2016, rendezvoused with Bennu in 2018, and will ultimately bring samples of the asteroid back to Earth. These samples will be the first for a U.S. mission and may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth. The University of Arizona leads the mission for NASA, and it is also providing the science operations team and the spacecraft’s camera system. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center provides overall mission management. Lockheed Martin Space Systems built the spacecraft. United Launch Alliance built the mission’s Atlas V launch vehicle. The mission is in an exciting phase right now as the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft operations continue in the Sample Acquisition campaign.

Summer Science Saturday 2019

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

Early Planetary Science in Tucson - Senior Scientist Emeritus William K. Hartmann, a graduate student in the 1960s at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and co-founded Tucson's Planetary Science Institute.  His talk describes many pre-Apollo and post-Apollo space-related activities in Arizona. 

50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing, July 20, 1969 - Professor Emeritus Robert G. Strompart of the Lunar Operations Working Group of Apollo 11 which was a major landmark in human history. This talk primarily discusses the Apollo 11 mission, including details not generally known.

The Scientific Legacy of Apollo - Associate Professor Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna's research focuses on understanding the processes acting on the surfaces and interiors of the solid-surface planets and moons in our solar system. This talk explores some of the fundamental discoveries that came out of the Apollo missions, and some of the key questions that remain unanswered.


Parker Solar Probe NASA's mission to touch the sun

Summer Science Saturday 2018

Parker Solar Probe: A Mission to Touch the SunProfessor Joe Giacalone, Co-Investigator for the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (IS☉IS) instrument on Parker Solar Probe. The Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

Mars the Pristine Beauty of the Red Planet

Summer Science Saturday 2017

HiRISE: The Pristine Beauty of the Red PlanetNASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been orbiting Mars since 2006. Onboard the spacecraft is the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, led by Professor Alfred McEwen from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. The HiRISE camera can image features as small as a desk, giving unprecedented details of Mars. Over 50,000 large (giga-pixel) images have been taken, revealing the diverse and changing landscapes of Mars. Dr. McEwen talks about what scientists have learned from these images.

Summer Science Saturday 2016

OSIRIS-REx, Countdown to Lift-Off

OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS). Panel discussion with Dr. Bashar Rizk (OCAMS Lead), Carl Hergenrother (Astronomy Lead), and Dr. Michael Nolan (Asteroid Scientist).

Bennu Here We Come! Ed Beshore gives a talk about the Atlas 5 rocket blast off from Cape Canaveral carrying the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft heading towards asteroid Bennu. When it returns to the Earth in 2023, it will contain the largest sample of extraterrestrial material returned to the Earth since the end of the manned missions to the moon over 40 years ago. This UA-led mission will mark many new milestones for US space exploration. Listen to the story of how and why OSIRIS-REx was conceived and built, and how it has pioneered new technologies that may help keep Earth safe against hazardous asteroids. Hear about the great adventure that lies ahead after launch, when scientists from all over the world will gather in Tucson for over 18 months, studying Bennu up close before they choose the best site for retrieving a sample.