Mapping the Moon

Only a handful people were seriously studying the moon when President John F. Kennedy announced in 1961 that Americans would walk on its surface by the decade’s end. Among them was a small group of researchers at the University of Arizona.

The University of Arizona team imaged and mapped the lunar surface, which allowed them to understand the moon’s geology and NASA to choose landing sites for future robotic and Apollo missions. Gerard Kuiper, the father of modern-day planetary science, led the team and established the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona.