Virtual Session 10: Fundamental and Applied Lunar Surface Research in Physical Sciences
August 18–19, 2021
The NASA Biological and Physical Sciences Division hosted a workshop on fundamental and applied research on the Moon in physical sciences on August 18–19, 2021. This workshop brought together the scientific community, commercial companies, and NASA Divisions and Programs with the goals of discussing investigations on reduced gravity and lunar environmental effects in physical sciences research for sustained lunar human habitation and in preparation for human exploration to Mars and to inform and inspire the science community to contribute white papers for the Biological and Physical Sciences Decadal Survey.
This workshop focused on:
- Lunar dust and its properties, behavior, and mitigation
- Life support and thermal management
- Materials flammability and habitat fire safety
- Extraction of water-ice from regolith research, including separation, purification, electrolysis, and liquefaction
- Lunar environment and its effects on materials
- Lunar research in extraction, processing, and handling
- Lunar research for advanced manufacturing
- Fundamental physics research on the lunar surface
Virtual Session 9: Progress and Challenges: Updates from NASA HQ and Artemis
April 29, 2021
11:00 a.m.–5:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
This LSSW session focused on communicating updates from NASA HQ and elements across Artemis. NASA HQ updates included leaders across all three mission directorates, the Agency, and elements within each mission directorate that have relevance to accomplishing lunar surface science objectives. Additionally, we heard updates from several teams across the Agency preparing hardware, operations, and training concepts to support Artemis.
Virtual Session 8: February 24–25, 2021
11:00 a.m.–4:50 p.m. EST
Structuring Real-Time Science Support of Artemis Crewed Operations
When astronauts walked on the Moon during the Apollo program, scientists were embedded in the Flight Control Team (FCT). These scientists populated a science backroom, and they were responsible for helping direct science activities, including sampling, instrument deployment, and other exploration tasks. In this way, the science backroom was critical in maximizing the productivity of the Apollo missions. Part of the reason for their success was that the scientists were able to work closely with the flight controllers, astronauts, and other critical members of the Apollo Program before, during, and after the missions. In the same way, scientists will work with Artemis Program flight controllers, flight directors, astronauts, and spaceflight engineers to achieve mission success and maximize scientific productivity by ensuring that the Artemis lunar surface missions effectively and efficiently accomplish high-priority science objectives.
February 24, 2021
3:50 p.m. EST
Breakout #1: Historical Lessons Learned for Pre-Mission Activities
Chair: Jose Hurtado
Facilitator: Ferrous Ward
- What traverse-planning strategies for robotic missions with time-delay are amenable to human exploration with increasing amounts of crew autonomy?
- What traverse-planning strategies for Apollo worked best?
- What lessons learned can we leverage from Apollo on ideal training activities/strategies for the crew and science team?
- What are the best ways to integrate engineering, mission operations, and science in the runup to the mission?
Breakout #2: Historical Lessons Learned for Mission Activities
Chair: Kelsey Young
Facilitator: Amanda Ostwald
- What worked well and what can be improved from the design and function of the Apollo Science Support Team structure during the Apollo missions?
- What lessons learned can we leverage from Mars rover exploration?
- What can we leverage into Artemis from how ISS operations work today?
February 25, 2021
3:35 p.m. EST
Breakout #1: Infrastructure
Chair: Jose Hurtado
Facilitator: Marie Henderson
- What sort of physical space is required to support the Backroom/Science Operations Center during Artemis missions? Where should this be in relationship to other mission support?
- What are the computing resources, including software and visualization tools, that the Backroom/Science Operations team will need during Artemis missions?
- What communications infrastructure, as well as other tools deployed on the lunar surface, will specifically enable the science team to do their work in supporting Artemis missions?
Breakout #2: Architecture
Chair: Kelsey Young
Facilitator: Tess Caswell
- How should the Backroom/Science Operations Center be structured during Artemis lunar surface exploration (i.e. team structure, physical location, interfaces to support infrastructure, etc.)?
- What should Roles and Responsibilities look like in the Artemis Science Team? What kind of positions should exist? How should the Science Team be selected and what backgrounds are needed?
- What role will the ‘Science Operations Center’ play in real-time surface operations (crew autonomy versus the decisions the Science Team will want to feed input into)?
- What is the role of strategic versus tactical science teams? What does the shift structure and staffing roster look like?
- 1. Surface Characterization. Major themes to be addressed:
- a. Assessment of local geology and composition, guiding and providing context for scientific investigations at the lunar south pole.
- b. Assessment of local terrain enabling safe, successful exploration.
- 2. Resource Characterization. Major themes to be addressed include the distribution and mobility of polar volatiles.
- Mobility: Drive it like you stole it.
- What scientific investigations are uniquely enabled by mobility? Crewed or uncrewed?
- What scientific investigations are enhanced by mobility? Crewed or uncrewed?
- What are the necessary capabilities of the mobile platform (range, survive the night, communications, sampling, remote operations, etc.)?
- PP/PSR: Not all PSRs are created equal.
- What are the major distinctions among PSRs?
- How do we identify and classify different PSRs (e.g., keep-out zones vs. robotic/crew exploration targets vs. impact targets)?
- What other locations (or portions therein) need to be classified? (e.g., heritage sites [A11–17, Luna, Surveyor, Chang’E]; past impact sites [LCROSS, S-IVB, Apollo ascent stages, LADEE, etc.]; current missions [NASA, commercial, international]; future infrastructure sites [crewed landings, solar farms, sustainable base]).
- How do we set policy to govern PSRs and other sensitive/strategic sites within our own agency, the commercial sector, and internationally?
Virtual Session 7: January 20–21, 2021
Separate LSSW-focused sessions will be held for space biology, physical sciences, and fundamental physics. The space biology session is scheduled for January 20–21, 2021.
The NASA Science Mission Directorate Biological and Physical Science Division’s Space Biology virtual session will inform the community about lunar surface science programmatic and research activities at NASA and solicit input from the community on the potential for new scientific research that could be enabled by Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) and human exploration on the Moon and the technologies needed to conduct the research investigations.
The first day will offer presentations by agency representatives and selected abstract submissions. The second day will consist of breakout sessions for deeper discussions and identification of specific lunar surface science topics and technologies for Biological and Physical Science Division (BPS) Space Biology lunar research activities, objectives, and priorities to provide community commentary on space biology lunar research.
Virtual Session 6: November 19, 2020
Foundational Data Products
12:00–5:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) (UTC -5)
The next virtual workshop of the Lunar Surface Science Workshop (LSSW) will focus on Foundational Data Products. The day will be a mix of invited/contributed talks and discussion breakouts.
This workshop will address foundational data products facilitating new scientific research enabled by human exploration of the lunar south pole. The goal of this session is to discuss existing relevant data and to identify key gaps in existing data that could be addressed through precursor missions and/or targeted new observations and analyses. The workshop will consider data products relevant to (a) direct scientific investigation and (b) surface characterization enabling safe, effective crew activity.
Two breakout sessions will be conducted:
Virtual Session 5: October 28, 2020
Science Enabled by Mobility
12:00–5:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (UTC -4)
Major questions to be addressed:
Virtual Session 4: September 30, 2020
Planetary Protection/PSR Classification
Major questions to be addressed:
Virtual Session 3: August 20, 2020
Lunar Dust and Regolith
Virtual Session 2: July 29–30, 2020
Lunar Volatiles and Samples
Virtual Session 1: May 28–29, 2020
Overview and Tools and Instruments