Highlighted Events

The following events are open to all interested members of the community.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday


Sunday, March 20

3rd Annual Workshop on Potential Mars Returned Sample Science —
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Grogan's Mill
The Third Annual Workshop on Potential Mars Returned Sample Science will be an opportunity for scientists interested in the investigation of geological samples from Mars to stay up to date on current planning related to the possibility of returning samples from Mars. Registration is not required, but if you are interested in attending, please contact Lindsay Hays ([email protected]) for a detailed agenda.

LPSC Educator Professional Development Workshop —
Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Waterway Ballrooms 7 and 8
Come learn about the latest discoveries on Pluto, ongoing research and new plans for Mars exploration, and how our missions are helping us understand how our solar system formed and evolved! Planetary scientists will be presenting overviews of the current research, and planetary education specialists will lead activities in the topic of solar system exploration. This workshop is geared for science teachers, professors, and informal science educators interested in knowing more about planetary science. Lunch will be provided. Registration is free but required: register here. For more information, contact Christine Shupla at [email protected].

Community Forum:  MoonDB — Restoration and Synthesis of Planetary Geochemical Data —
Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., The Woodlands
MoonDB is a NASA-funded project that will restore and digitize published and unpublished geochemical and petrological data for lunar and planetary samples. Modeled after the highly successful PetDB (www.earthchem.org/petdb) for terrestrial samples, MoonDB will synthesize data and metadata into an online searchable database that will greatly help to advance access of lunar and planetary sample data and augment their utility for and impact on future science. We invite planetary scientists who are interested in using geochemical and petrological data to attend this forum where we will demonstrate the concept and design of MoonDB; the ongoing efforts of data restoration; what the product will look like, and how it can benefit the community. We also encourage scientists with archives of unpublished legacy lunar and planetary sample data to join the discussion of rescuing and publishing legacy data at the EarthChem Library (www.earthchem.org/library). Registration is free but required at www.moondb.org/LPSC2016.

Early Career Presenters Review —
Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Panther Creek
Are you a young scientist preparing to present your research at LPSC 2016? Are you nervous? Looking for advice? Join others like you for this educational opportunity to get feedback from seasoned presenters at the LPSC 2016 Early Career Presenters Review. This meeting gives young scientists the opportunity to present their research, and receive feedback from a panel of senior scientists, in a friendly, casual environment. Registration is required to participate and is limited to 20 presenters. Registration is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y6K3FP7 until March 16, 2016. Seasoned presenters wishing to participate as reviewers should contact Andy Shaner directly at [email protected]. All other general inquiries should also be directed to Andy Shaner.  Whether you are a young scientist interested in practicing in front of your peers, or are a seasoned presenter that would like to share your expertise to the review, we hope you consider taking advantage of this great opportunity.

Advancing Research in LEO:  New Opportunities, Capabilities, and Ideas —
Sunday, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Cochran’s Crossing
Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems, Inc. (STaARS) invites attendees of LPSC to explore pathways for moving their research projects into low-Earth orbit. In this special meeting, attendees will be able to meet with STaARS science, operation, and engineering personnel; learn how to get their projects ready for flight; discover the wide range of available hardware to enhance their research; and identify new funding mechanisms for their projects. One of the main goals of STaARS is to facilitate research at levels that will result in publishable datasets, fundable projects, and long-term program development. STaARS is a CASIS implementation partner and holds a Space Act Agreement with NASA for conducting research on the International Space Station.

47th LPSC Registration and Welcome —
Sunday, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Waterway Ballrooms 4/5
Let LPI welcome you to The Woodlands! After checking in, you can greet old friends and network with new ones. Registration will open at 4:00 p.m., and the Welcome Event will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. You can also take this opportunity to check in your oral presentation in the speaker-ready room (Alden Bridge, open from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.), or install your Tuesday evening poster in the Town Hall Exhibit Area (open from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.).

Dwornik Award Judges Meeting —
Sunday, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Cochran’s Crossing
This is a training and information meeting for the Dwornik Award judges. This is your opportunity to review the judging procedure, ask questions, meet other judges, and discuss schedules or concerns. We will aim to keep it as brief as possible!

Microblogger Meet Up —
Sunday, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., Waterway 1
Connect with fellow microbloggers at this year’s LPSC! This is an opportunity to meet and greet, compare interests, strategize on session coverage, and consult with conference staff.

Monday, March 21

Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) Mission Update —
Monday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., The Woodlands
The Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will be the first demonstration of asteroid deflection by a spacecraft kinetic impact. AIDA features two spacecraft, a NASA kinetic impactor (DART) and an ESA rendezvous probe (AIM). The mission target is the binary asteroid Didymos, whose mutual orbit will be changed by the impact. AIDA is in parallel Phase A studies at NASA and ESA. An integral part of AIDA DART will be coordinated groundbased observing campaigns to detect and measure impact effects. The AIDA Mission Update will be an open meeting. Please come if interested to hear about opportunities to participate in AIDA Working Groups for observations, modeling, and simulations.

Writing Data Archive Plans Workshop —
Monday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Montgomery Ballroom
Archivists from the Science Nodes of the Planetary Data System will be available to work with scientists who are either developing Data Archiving Plans or implementing them.

Young Faculty in the Planetary Sciences Meeting —
Monday,12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Shenandoah
This meeting is intended for pre-tenure faculty in the planetary sciences to develop a support network, discuss issues relevant to the tenure process, and share course materials. All new faculty members in Planetary Science, Geology, Physics, Astronomy, Engineering, or a related field at all institutions are welcome.

Forum on Development of a Standardized Toolkit for Analysis of Thermal Inertia Datasets —
Monday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Sterling Ridge
An open forum to discuss the idea of developing a “standard” set of quantitative, physics-based, state-of-the-art models related to the interpretation and analysis of thermophysical datasets in the Planetary Data System. These models would be developed by a group of volunteers with expertise in related areas, and made available for use by the planetary science community and the public. For more information, visit http://faculty.washington.edu/sew2/lpsc2016/ or e-mail Stephen Wood at [email protected].

Plenary Session Featuring Masursky Lecture —
Monday, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Waterway Ballrooms 4/5
This year’s lecture, “New Horizons:  The Exploration of the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt Beyond,” will be presented by Dr. Alan Stern of Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. The winners of the 2015 Dwornik Awards and the 2016 LPI Career Development Awards will also be recognized.

NASA Headquarters Briefing —
Monday, 5:30 p.m., Waterway Ballroom 4/5
Representatives from the Planetary Sciences Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate will address the community. Current plans include speakers Jim Green and Jonathan Rall.

Opening of Exhibits and Student/Scientist Event —
Immediately following the NASA Headquarters Briefing, Town Center Exhibit Hall
A student/scientist reception will be held to honor the Masursky Lecturer, 2015 Dwornik award winners, and all students presenting at this year’s LPSC.

Tuesday, March 22

The 2017 NASA Budget:  The Planetary Community Response and Your Q&A  —
Tuesday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Waterway 6
Was your question left unanswered at NASA Night? Or do you feel that an important topic is not being addressed by your professional societies? Or do you wonder what the next five years will hold for planetary science at NASA? Then come to this special lunch session to meet representatives from the American Geophysical Union, Division of Planetary Sciences, Geological Society of America, and The Planetary Society for an open, frank, and lively discussion about the Planetary Science budget problems and possibilities. We will even provide a limited number of free drink tickets to encourage further discussion. So go ahead and grab an early lunch, bring your friends and colleagues, and level-up your knowledge of your field and learn how to strategically engage the process to help your field and your profession.

NASA Postdoctoral Program Town Hall —
Tuesday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Cochran’s Crossing
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides early-career and more senior scientists the opportunity to share in NASA's scientific mission. NASA Postdoctoral Fellows work on one- to three-year assignments with NASA scientists and engineers at NASA centers and institutes to advance NASA's missions in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics, engineering, human exploration and space operations, astrobiology, and science management. This Town Hall will describe the program, available research opportunities, and how to apply. The presenter will be NPP Program Director Michael Corcoran (USRA).

Public Lecture:  The Exploration of Pluto —
Tuesday, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.), Waterway 4
Dr. Alan Stern, principal investigator for the New Horizons mission, will present a public lecture entitled “The Exploration of Pluto.” Topics to be covered are the history of the mission, the science behind it, the capabilities of the instrument payload, the encounter with planet Pluto, and the major scientific discoveries made to date. Also briefly outlined will be the proposed New Horizons extended mission to fly across the Kuiper belt, exploring further into space. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 23

Mars Human Landing Sites Study Overview —
Wednesday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Waterway 1
This meeting will provide an overview of the Mars Human Landing Sites Study (HLS2). The purpose of the HLS2 is to begin the process of identifying and discussing candidate locations where humans could land, live, and work on the martian surface. We refer to such locations as Exploration Zones (EZ). Given current mission concepts, an EZ is a collection of Regions of Interest (ROIs) that are located within approximately 100 kilometers of a centralized landing site. ROIs are areas that are relevant for scientific investigation and/or development/maturation of capabilities and resources necessary for a sustainable human presence. The EZ also contains a landing site and a habitation site that will be used by multiple human crews during missions to explore and utilize the ROIs within the EZ. The first HLS2 workshop was held in October 2015 and was highly supported by multiple disciplines. This briefing will cover the results of that workshop as well as talk about next steps in the effort.

JMARS Showcase —
Wednesday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Waterway 6
The Java Mission-planning and Analysis for Remote Sensing (JMARS) team will present a series of short presentations on how specific science can be done on planets, moons, and small bodies. The goal of these presentations will be to showcase how to use JMARS in exploratory mode to discover relevant data, fuse it with other datasets to evaluate research hypotheses and produce publication-quality results. JMARS is a free, open-source, Java based geospatial information system developed by the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University. It is currently used for search and analysis of scientific data collected for multiple bodies (Mars, Earth, Moon, Vesta, Ceres, and many more) across various planetary missions.

LPSC Community Dialogue:  Usage of Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (MMRTGs) for Future Potential Missions —
Wednesday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Grogan’s Mill
This Radioisotope Power System (RPS) session will provide an overview of the current available RPS and the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), as well as how to obtain additional information necessary for detailed mission planning.

MarsSI Users Workshop —
Wednesday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Shenandoah
MARS System of Information (MarsSI) is a web-based geographic information system application that allows the managing and processing of martian orbital data. The purpose of this workshop is to present and describe the basic functions of MarsSI (data processing, stereo-restitution, etc.).

Indicated Australasian Ejecta Blanket and Impact Structure Review —
Wednesday, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., Indian Springs
A review of findings regarding the Australasian (AA) tektite impact ejecta blanket and indicated impact structure, including preliminary signatures of matching provenance to the AA tektites and the oblique character of impact.

Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Town Hall —
Wednesday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Montgomery Ballroom
Attend the LEAG Town Hall for an update on lunar science activities — research, missions, new findings, and general community discussion.

Antarctic Search for Meteorites Annual Slide Show —
Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Waterway 1
A description of the results of the 2015–2016 Antarctic Search for Meteorites program, including field work and sample characterization.

Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Networking Session —
Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Town Center
Young and more mature lunar scientists are invited to meet and network. The purpose is to make connections that facilitate better communication and potential collaborations within the growing lunar science community.

Eighth Annual Susan Niebur Women in Planetary Science Event —
Wednesday, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Waterway 5
Everyone has implicit or unconscious biases shaped by societal expectations and past experiences. These biases can influence evaluation and judgement, in either a positive or negative way. Studies have shown that unconscious bias can negatively affect the careers of women and other minorities in STEM fields. In addition to raising awareness about best practices, this event is meant as a springboard for implementing positive change in our community. We welcome everyone’s input on this important topic. To RSVP (not required, but requested so we will have an idea about attendance numbers), or for more information, visit http://bit.ly/WIPS_2016.

SuperCam Science Team Meeting —
Wednesday, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., Shenandoah
Meeting of the Mars 2020/SuperCam science team.

10th Anniversary of Stardust —
Wednesday, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Waterway 4
Stardust and Genesis were the two Discovery missions that returned to Earth samples from a comet and the Sun. These samples provided pivotal findings from these bodies and our understanding of our solar system. Returning samples is a holy grail in planetary exploration, and it is timely to remember, celebrate, and empower more sample returns in space exploration. We will recall the history, findings, lessons learned, and celebrate with a cake.

Thursday, March 24

Community Meeting for PDS Roadmap —
Thursday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Cochran’s Crossing
The Planetary Data System is inviting both providers and users of the PDS to come and talk to the PDS Roadmap review team about community desires for improved or new capabilities at the PDS for the future.

Scientists and Engineers:  Learning to Work Together —
Thursday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Panther Creek
The Next Generation Lunar Scientists and Engineers (NGLSE) is hosting a discussion on the importance of integrating systems engineering and science. Our featured speaker will be Lee Graham from the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), who is passionate about educating both scientists and engineers on how to interact with each other. Lee has 24 years’ experience as an engineer and 6 years’ experience as a planetary scientist, and he is part of a program at JSC geared toward integrating science PIs with engineering teams so that the two groups learn how to communicate. He will discuss case studies, the various definitions of systems engineering, and how scientists and engineers can learn from each other and better work together. Boeing representatives will also be available to discuss and answer questions regarding their experience with integrating science and engineering. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Venus Town Hall Meeting —
Thursday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Montgomery Ballroom
Come and hear about the latest Venus events and activities.

Titan Submarine:  Goals and Payload —
Thursday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Shenandoah
A briefing on the NIAC Titan Submarine study, and an opportunity to propose scientific goals, instrumentation, and/or target sites for the vehicle’s research cruise on Kraken and Ligeia Mare.

Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) Town Hall —
Thursday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Waterway 1
This OPAG Town Hall will discuss draft findings from the February OPAG meeting, discussion of the science goals document, an update on the Ice Giants mission study, an update on Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW), and other items of interest to the outer planets community.

MAPSIT 2016 Community Forum —
Thursday, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m., Waterway 6
The Mapping and Planetary Spatial Information Team (MAPSIT) 2016 community forum will give attendees the opportunity to provide feedback about the Cartography Strategic Plan that is current in progress.

Planetary Aeolian Laboratory User’s Workshop —
Thursday, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., Panther Creek
The NASA Ames Research Center’s Planetary Aeolian Laboratory (PAL) provides unique capabilities for recreating planetary aeolian processes. This users’ workshop will provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about the PAL facilities, develop ideas for experiments, and ask questions of current users about facility capabilities and potential usage.