Special Sessions

This year’s conference will feature the following special sessions:

A Year of Perseverance at Jezero Crater
Since landing in February 2021 at the Octavia E. Butler landing site, the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has deepened our knowledge of Jezero Crater. The rover’s exploration and sampling efforts have been focused on the Jezero Crater floor, and the first rock and atmospheric samples that may one day be returned to Earth have been collected onboard the rover. Long-distance observations have provided a first look at the Jezero delta deposits, and the rover has been monitoring present-day atmospheric activity in Jezero since landing.

Apollo’s Legacy for Lunar and Planetary Science, from Lunar Sample Analysis to Solar System Studies
Fifty years after Apollo 16 and 17, the Apollo program has continued to make an indelible mark on the study of planets and the Sun. From the analyses of samples to integration of remotely sensed data, Apollo samples are truly the gift that keeps on giving. The ANGSA program’s ongoing study of previously unanalyzed lunar samples highlights the importance of modern techniques in examining the Apollo collection, as well as the importance of integrating orbital data and previous analyses with continued interpretation of samples. We solicit abstracts synthesizing recent and past analyses of Apollo samples and data, the use of landing sites to calibrate orbital datasets, and the application of Apollo lessons to future lunar exploration. We encourage early career scientists to submit to this session.

The Chinese Lunar and Planetary Exploration Program: Recent Moon and Mars Results and Future Plans
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program recently successfully completed the Chang’e 5 sample return mission to young mare basalts in Oceanus Procellarum, and analysis of the returned samples is underway. The Chang’e 4 Yutu-2 rover continues to operate in the lunar farside South Pole-Aitken basin interior. Tianwen-1 is currently orbiting Mars and the Zhurong rover landed successfully and is exploring the floor of Utopia Basin, thought by many to be the site of an ancient ocean, and complementing ongoing and upcoming exploration by NASA and the European Space Agency. Papers describing the scientific results from these ongoing Chinese exploration programs are solicited and future Chinese lunar, planetary, and asteroid exploration plans will be presented.

Analysis of Pristine Returned Samples from Small Bodies: Ryugu, Bennu, and More
JAXA’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned ~5 g of surface regolith from C-type asteroid Ryugu. The returned samples are now being analyzed by the Hayabusa2 project. Results from elemental and isotopic analyses, mineralogy, petrology, and analyses of volatiles and organics will be the first from a C-type asteroid and will constrain the formation/evolution of the asteroid and the solar system. This session focuses on results from Ryugu sample analysis and their implications. Contributions from sample science of past, ongoing, and future sample return missions such as OSIRIS-REx, Hayabusa, Stardust, and MMX are also welcome. Technical developments on sample analysis and curation as well as remote sensing studies on the geologic context of samples are also within the scope of the session.

Venus, the Emerging Planet: What We Know and Don't Know Before the Upcoming Missions
Venus is enigmatic, often considered Earth’s twin yet strikingly different due to its thick caustic atmosphere, high surface pressure, and hot dry surface environment. Many fundamental questions remain regarding the Venus of today, from the rate of current and past rates of volcanism, to the dominant form of tectonics over time, to the nature of atmospheric and surface processes and whether these are representative of the past. These questions will begin to be addressed with the recent selection of the VERITAS, DAVINCI, and EnVision missions. The broad session will leverage this renewed and exciting interest and focus on the current state of knowledge for Venus, from the deep interior to the atmosphere.

Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in the Planetary Workforce
NASA has committed to fostering inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) throughout the agency and its programs, including adding language to standard Announcements of Opportunity, initiating Requests for Information, and adding inclusion as a core value. Also, the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey now provides recommendations for the state of the profession. In order to respond to NASA, the decadal survey, and the community, we need to leverage best practices from other fields. In this session, we bring together the planetary and social science communities to discuss tangible steps for advancing IDEA in the planetary workforce over the next decade.

Special Session Abstract Submission Rules

Authors submitting abstracts for one of these sessions should select the appropriate Special Session topic on the abstract submission form. Abstracts submitted to a special session constitute one of the two abstracts allowed per first author. Even though first authors can submit two abstracts, only one abstract per first author can be considered for oral presentation.