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The series of Lunar Surface Science Workshop (LSSW) short, focused virtual sessions will continue to solicit input from the community on the potential for new scientific research that could be enabled by human exploration near the lunar south pole. In addition, we want to identify and help to close knowledge gaps associated with crew activities and safety.

Virtual Session 8: February 24–25, 2021
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.

Program and Abstracts

Breakout Discussions

February 24, 2021
3:50 p.m. CST

Breakout #1: Historical Lessons Learned for Pre-Mission Activities
Chair: Jose Hurtado
Facilitator: Ferrous Ward
Leading Questions:

  • 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
Leading Questions:

  • 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. CST

Breakout #1: Infrastructure
Chair: Jose Hurtado
Facilitator: Marie Henderson
Leading Questions:

  • 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
Leading Questions:

  • 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?
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    Virtual Session 7: January 20–21, 2021
    Space Biology

    Program At-A-Glance
    Program with Presentation Descriptions and Authors
    5-minute pre-recorded poster presentations
    Downloadable Program

    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)

    Downloadable Program

    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:

    • 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.

     

    Virtual Session 5: October 28, 2020
    Science Enabled by Mobility
    12:00–5:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (UTC -4)

    Downloadable Program
    View E-Posters

    Major questions to be addressed:

    • 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.)?

     

    Virtual Session 4: September 30, 2020
    Planetary Protection/PSR Classification

    Downloadable Virtual Session 4 Program
    Virtual Session 4 Presentation Recordings

    Major questions to be addressed:

    • 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 3: August 20, 2020
    Lunar Dust and Regolith

    Downloadable Virtual Session 3 Program
    Virtual Session 3 Presentation Recordings

    Virtual Session 2: July 29–30, 2020
    Lunar Volatiles and Samples
    NCTS #42295-20

    Downloadable Virtual Session 2 Program
    Virtual Session 2 Presentation Recordings

    Virtual Session 1: May 28–29, 2020
    Overview and Tools and Instruments

    Downloadable Virtual Session 1 Program
    Virtual Session 1 Presentation Recordings

    Use these links to access the program and abstracts and author index for the originally scheduled in-person workshop on April 28–30, 2020.

    Original Workshop Concept

    NASA was organizing a workshop to discuss new scientific research that could be enabled by human exploration near the lunar south pole.

    NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and Space Technology Mission Directorate were co-sponsoring a three-day workshop to actively engage the scientific community in order to determine what science could be done by human crews on the lunar surface and how it can be achieved. This workshop was to be held April 28–30, 2020 at the Westin Denver International Airport. Attendance was open only to speakers, or their delegates, and selected invitees. Only one attendee per abstract was permitted. Portions of the workshop were to be streamed live for those who could not attend in person.

    Revised Workshop Plan

    Purpose and Scope

    In accordance with the Space Policy Directive-1, NASA is planning a human return to the Moon’s surface by 2024 as a large next step in human exploration of the solar system. The NASA Artemis program is being conducted in two phases:  Phase 1 will see the next human beings set foot on the lunar surface near the Moon's south pole, and Phase 2 will create a sustained human presence on the lunar surface by 2028. Community input and early integration of science into the exploration architecture are essential to maximizing the science return from the Artemis missions.

    Initial strategies for science payload delivery include using the Artemis 2024 lander, as well as pre-deployment of tools and experiments through Commercial Lunar Payloads Services (CLPS) deliveries. Astronauts could then deploy/operate/utilize these tools and experiments once on the surface. It is expected that some science investigations may require the attention of a crew to deploy/conduct experiments, while other investigations may simply use the Artemis architecture as infrastructure to supply power, communications, etc. to otherwise autonomous systems.

    Note: All electronic submission forms are part of the Meeting Portal, which requires users to set up a personal profile to access our electronic forms (setting up a profile is quick and easy, requiring only a few minutes of your time).