LPL Newsletter: August 2019

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing focused extra media attention on LPL not only because of our rich history with lunar research, but also because of the impressive lunar research currently conducted by LPL scientists. For this month's listing of LPL news, we are including several stories related to LPL's lunar research, ranging from stories about LPL's sometimes-legendary field trips to discussions of upcoming science. We are also highlighting three other stories: an interview with an undergraduate student working with our biggest current mission, OSIRIS-REx; a feature about an upcoming cubesat mission; and, just for fun, Alfred McEwen and Veronica Bray playing tour guide to some moons other than the one orbiting Earth.

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Future space tourists take in the view during a "Saturnset tour" on one of Titan's lakes of liquid methane (Image: NASA/JPL)

Travel to Alien Moons with UA Expert Guides

July 22, 2019

Humans first explored the Earth’s moon 50 years ago, an impressive feat for sure. But if you are interested in venturing a little off the beaten path, here are some other extraordinary moons to visit in the future.

$3M in NASA Funding to Help Students Build CubeSats

July 17, 2019

NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project Institutional Research Opportunity program will give students in Arizona and Puerto Rico the opportunity to collaborate with scientists and engineers on the next generation of space exploration technology.

Artist’s conception of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collecting a sample from the asteroid Bennu. Credit: University of Arizona/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Undergraduate Students at Work on OSIRIS-REx

June 28, 2019

Next year, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will use its Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism to touch the surface of an asteroid for five seconds, collecting up to 4.4 pounds of rocks and dust. The first-of-its-kind NASA mission is led by the UA, where undergraduate and graduate students are working alongside faculty and staff to make significant scientific contributions.

Apollo 17 astronaut Ron Evans had to embark on a spacewalk just to retrieve a cassette of film, which recorded data from the first radar mapping instrument mounted on a spacecraft. (Photo: NASA)

Mapping the Moon and Worlds Beyond

July 16, 2019

UA scientists were instrumental in creating the first photographic atlases of the moon, which helped NASA successfully complete the Apollo 11 mission. Fifty years later, UA scientists are busy mapping worlds throughout our solar system.

A University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory student holds a bright umbrella over the spot where she found geologic contact between two different lava flows during a trip to Amboy Crater in California's Mojave Desert. (Photo: Ali Bramson)

Exploring a Desert Portal to Other Worlds

July 8, 2019

The merge between astronomy and geology, necessary to get humans to the moon, led to the birth of modern-day planetary science and a long history of field trips that continue to this day, enabling fledgling scientists to interpret data from far-off worlds without leaving Earth.

Launched on March 2, 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, and the first spacecraft to make direct observations and obtain close-up images of Jupiter. (Image: NASA)

From Points of Light to Worlds: UA Explores the Solar System

July 3, 2019

A determined bunch of scientists set out to map the moon in preparation of the Apollo landings, but that was only the beginning. A new field of science blossomed, and UA scientists have been involved in nearly every U.S. space mission since.