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Planetary Geology


Welcome to the website of the UK Node for the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI). The NLSI is a new organization that supplements and extends existing NASA lunar science programs.



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In January, 2009, on behlaf of the UK Lunar Science community, the Open University formally accetped the affiliate-level membership of the NLSI. At present, the UK node consists of members representing more than 15 academic institutions. An overview of the current membership and profile of the UK node is given below. Please note that this list is not exclusive and we expect it to grow as additional institutions develop lunar interests.

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Management structure

Initially, the management structure of the UK Node will consist of a point of contact at the Open University (Mahesh Anand) who will be responsible for communicating with the rest of the UK lunar community to coordinate activities with the NLSI Central Office and other NLSI nodes, both within and outside the U.S.A.

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Our Aims

  • are to facilitate collaborative opportunities between UK and US researchers on a no-exchange-of-funds basis

  • are to facilitate space mission involvements (e.g. from proposal phase to hardware development, flight and data interpretation)

  • are to help train the next generation of lunar scientists

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Profile of the UK Node and its members

The members and institutions of the UK Node represent a broad range of lunar research activities, and to our knowledge they constitute the vast majority of academic involvement in lunar exploration within the UK community.

The UK lunar community is of course long-established, with involvements stretching back to before the space age. Early activities in the space age included tracking Soviet lunar probes, mapping the lunar surface by telescope and geological interpretation. With the Apollo era, the UK played a major role in the collaborative analysis of Apollo and Luna samples and interpretation of imagery and other data, resulting in many peer-reviewed publications.

The UK lunar community now includes more than 15 institutions. An overview is given in a word document that can be downloaded from this website. Interests include the science of the Moon (interior, geochronology, volcanism, etc.), astrobiology, space physics and astronomical observations from the Moon (e.g., exoplanets, radio astronomy).

Icon - Microsoft Word document Current UK Node membership

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Possible activities of the UK node with the NLSI

  • Sharing of ideas and information for developing collaborative lunar mission concepts, instrumentation, and science (e.g. MoonLITE, LADEE; Lunar Beagle, etc.)

  • Exchange visits by researchers to specialist laboratories supporting lunar research (e.g., use of micro-beam analytical facilities at the Open University or joint X-ray analysis using the UK’s Diamond Synchrotron)

  • Organization of regular international lunar meetings in the UK to promote and raise the profile of lunar (and lunar-related) research in the national and international community. Participation of NLSI members in these meetings will be very effective in networking and formulation of a common strategy for lunar science and exploration.

  • Organize regular workshops and seminars to train and motivate the next generation of space scientists and engineers.

  • Public outreach activities on lunar exploration within UK including schools and society talks.

  • Participation in NLSI Executive Council meetings, in addition to the annual NLSI-sponsored Lunar Science Conference and other workshops, symposia and conferences as appropriate.

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Selected publications on lunar topics by the UK community in the last 5 years (UK member names are in bold):

1) Anand, M., Taylor, L.A., Floss, C., Neal, C.R., Terada, K. and Tanikawa, S., 2006. Petrology and geochemistry of LaPaz Icefield 02205: A new unique low-Ti mare-basalt meteorite, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, v. 70, 246-264 (2006).

2) Anand, M., Taylor, L.A., Nazarov, M.A., Shu, J., Mao, H.-K. and Hemley, R.J., Space weathering on airless bodies: clues from the new lunar mineral hapkeite, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, v. 101 (18), 6847-6851 (2004).

3) Crawford, I.A., The scientific case for renewed human activities on the Moon, Space Policy, 20, 91-97, (2004).

4) Crawford, I.A. The astrobiological case for renewed robotic and human exploration of the Moon. International Journal of Astrobiology. doi:10.1017/S1473550406002990 (2006).

5) Crawford, I.A., Baldwin, E.C., Taylor, E.A., Bailey, J.A.. Tsembelis, K. On the survivability and detectability of terrestrial meteorites on the Moon, Astrobiology, DOI: 10.1089/ast.2007.0215 (2008).

6) Crawford, I.A., K.H. Joy, B.J. Kellett, M. Grande, M. Anand, N. Bhandari, A.C. Cook, L. d’Uston, V.A. Fernandes, O. Gasnaulg, J. Goswami, C.J. Howe, J. Huovelin, D. Koschny, D.J. Lawrence, B.J. Maddison, S. Maurice, S. Narendranath, C. Pieters, T. Okada, D.A. Rothery, S.S. Russell, P. Sreekumar, B. Swinyard, M. Wieczorek, M. Wilding. The Scientific Rationale for the C1XS X-Ray Spectrometer on India’s Chandrayaan-1 Mission to the Moon, Planet. Space Sci., (in press).

7) Gao, Y., Phipps, A., Taylor, M., Clemmet, J., Crawford, I. A., Ball, A. J., Wilson, L., Parker, D., Sweeting, M., da Silva Curiel, A., Davies, P., Baker, A., Pike, W. T., Smith, A. and Gowen, R., Lunar Science with Affordable Small Spacecraft Technologies: MoonLITE & Moonraker. Planet. Space Sci. 56(3-4), 368-377. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2007.11.005 (2008).

8) Grande, M., et al. (31 authors, including Joy, K.H. and Crawford, I.A.), ''The D-CIXS X-Ray spectrometer on the SMART-1 mission to the Moon - First results,'' Planet. Space Sci., 55, 494-502, (2007).

9) Gronstal, A., Cockell, C.S., Perino, M.A., Bittner, T., Clacey, E., Clark, O., Ingold, O., De Oliveira, C.A. and Wathiong, S., Lunar Astrobiology: A Review and Suggested Laboratory Equipment. Astrobiology 7(5), 767-782 (2007).

10) Hagermann, A. and Tanaka, S., Ejecta deposit thickness, heat flow, and a critical ambiguity on the Moon. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33(19). DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027030 (2006).

11) Heather, D.J., Dunkin, S.K. and Wilson, L. Volcanism on the Marius Hills plateau: observational analyses using Clementine multispectral data. J. Geophys. Res. 108, (E3), 5017, 10.1029/2002JE001938 (2003).

12) Joy K. H., Crawford I.A., Anand M., Greenwood R. C., Franch, I. A., Russell S.S. The petrology and geochemistry of Miller Range 05035: A new lunar gabbroic meteorite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72, 3822-3844 (2008).

13) Joy, K.H., Crawford, I.A., Downes, H., Russell, S.S., and Kearsley, A.T., ``A Petrological, Mineralogical and Chemical Analysis of the Lunar Mare Basalt Meteorites LaPaz Icefield 02205, 02224 and 02226,'' Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 41, 1003-1025, (2006).

14) Kömle, N.I., Kaufmann, E., Kargl, G., Gao, Y. and Rui, X. "Development of thermal sensors and drilling systems for lunar and planetary regoliths", COSPAR J. on Advances in Space Research, Volume 42, Issue 2, 18 July 2008, Pages 363-368.

15) Smith, A., Crawford, I.A., Gowen, R.A., Ball, A.J., Barber, S.J., Church, P., Coates, A. J., Gao, Y., Griffiths, A.D., Hagermann, A., Joy, K.H., Phipps, A., Pike, W.T., Scott, R., Sheridan, S., Sweeting, M., Talboys, D., Tong, V., Wells, N., Biele, J., Chela-Flores, J., Dabrowski, B., Flannagan, J., Grande, M., Grygorczuk, J., Kargl, G., Khavroshkin, O.B., Klingelhoefer, G., Knapmeyer, M., Marczewski, W., McKenna-Lawlor, S., Richter, L., Rothery, D.A., Seweryn, K., Ulamec, S., Wawrzaszek, R., Wieczorek, M., Wright, I.P., Sims, M.,"LunarEX: A Propoasal to Cosmic Vision," Experimental Astronomy DOI: 10.1007/s10686-008-9109-6 (2008).

16) Terada, K*., Anand, M*., Sokol, A.K., Bischoff, A., Sano, Y.. Cryptomare magmatism at 4.35 Ga recorded in Kalahari 009. Nature, 450 (7171), 849-852. Note: * indicates authors contributed equally to this work and are considered joint first authors (2007).

17) Terada K., Sasaki Y., Anand M., Joy K. H., Sano Y. Uranium-lead systematics of phosphates in lunar basaltic regolith breccia, Meteorite Hills 01210. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2007.04.029 (2007).

18) Wilson, L. & Head, J.W. Deep generation of magmatic gas on the Moon and implications for pyroclastic eruptions. Geophys. Res. Lett. 30, (12), 1605, doi: 10.1029/2002GL016082 (2003).

19) Wilson, L. & Head, J.W. Lunar Gruithuisen and Mairan Domes: Rheology and Mode of Emplacement. J. Geophys. Res. 108, (E2), 5012, 10.1029/2002JE001909 (2003).

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