NASA selects teams to study our moon, the moons of Mars and more



Eight new research groups were selected for the Virtual Research Institute on the Solar System for Exploration (SSERVI).

NASA has selected eight new research groups to collaborate in the research on the intersection of space science and exploration of human space as part of the Virtual Institute of Solar System Exploration (SSERVI).

The discoveries made by these teams will be fundamental to our future exploration throughout the solar system with robots and humans, said Lori Glaze, director of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the Directorate of NASA's scientific mission.

SSERVI will support the new teams for five years with a combined total of around $ 10.5 million per year, funded by the NASA Science and Human Exploration Mission Directorates and Operations. They will join four current SSERVI teams to conduct fundamental and applied research on the Moon, near the terrestrial asteroids and the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos and their neighboring space environments. The work will take place in collaboration with the United States and international partners.

SSERVI continues to strengthen the collaboration between exploration and science as we prepare to move towards the Moon with a new era of human exploration, said Marshall Smith, director of human lunar exploration programs within the Exploration Mission Directorate and operating company of NASA.

The new SSERVI teams, selected by peer review from a pool of 24 competitive proposals, are:

  • Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science (CLASS), led by Dan Britt at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. The UCF team will study terrestrial regulatory material on other planetary bodies of the Moon and asteroids, examining in particular the physical properties and resources of the regolith and its behavior in the spatial environment. The class will also create soil simulators that will help other groups and the wider scientific community in this area of ​​research.
  • Interdisciplinary consortium for the evaluation of Volatile Origins (ICE FIVE-O), led by Jeffrey Gillis-Davis at the University of Hawaii in Mnoa in Honolulu. This team will focus on remote sensing of airborne bodies and how things go in space. It will also model the physical, chemical and isotopic signatures around the lunar polar regions. ICE FIVE-O will treat the care protocols for the return of the sample and the evolution of volatile compounds, or low boiling compounds, and of minerals within long-lasting and cured samples.
  • Remote, In Situ and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration 2 (RISE2), led by Timothy Glotch at Stony Brook University in New York. This team will study how planetary environments affect human health by observing the chemical reactivity of the regolith in association with animal cells and tissues. RISE2 will also analyze how the remote sensing data sets can be confirmed through laboratory experiments, analyzes and field deployments.
  • Resource exploration and science of our cosmic environment (RESOURCE), led by Jennifer Heldmann at NASA's Ames Research Center in California, Silicon Valley. This team focuses on determining which birds are available on the Moon for the use of in-situ resources. It will assess the quantity and availability of resources on the Moon, test the technology required to process those resources and test the operational concepts required for sustained human lunar presence in the field.
  • Institute for Modeling Plasmas, Atmospheres, and Cosmic Dust (IMPACT), directed by Mihaly Horanyi at the University of Colorado Boulder. This team will measure microscopic dust impacts on ice regolith using the world's easiest dust impact facility, and will develop the hardware to determine the generation of secondary particles and examine how the hardware deteriorates in time. IMPACT will also use laboratory experiments to help validate dust and volatile mobility theories and modeling efforts completed by other SSERVI teams.
  • Research on the environment and lunar dynamics for exploration (LEADER), led by Rosemary Killen at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. This team will focus on the interaction of plasma with bodies without air and will determine the effects of the spatial environment on robotic and human resources in various geographical locations on the Moon. The team will also model the radiation environments and associated effects associated with space exploration.
  • Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE), led by David Kring at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. Through modeling and geochemical analysis, this team will follow the distribution and shape of the birds from the first solar system to the formation of the Moon and the subsequent evolution to date. This team will analyze the volatile cycle on the Moon to determine the general mechanisms of origin and loss and how we can use these resources.
  • Geophysical exploration of the dynamics and evolution of the solar system (GEODES), led by Nicholas Schmerr at the University of Maryland at College Park. This team will use geophysical modeling and laboratory techniques to characterize the general evolution, stability and volatile content of the moon and asteroid sub-surfaces. GEODES will test its theories through analogue field campaigns in collaboration with other NASA / SSERVI testing activities.

"We are extremely pleased that the community has responded with high quality proposals and we look forward to the many contributions that new members of the SSERVI team will make to address NASA's scientific and exploration goals," said Greg Schmidt, director of institutes at Ames.

Based and managed by Ames, SSERVI was created in 2014 as an expansion of the NASA Lunar Science Institute. It supports scientific research and human exploration into potential future human exploration destinations under the guiding philosophy that exploration and science allow each other. Members of SSERVI include academic institutions, non-profit research institutes, commercial companies, NASA centers and other government laboratories.

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