The New Research Teams by NASA to Study Moon, Mars, Asteroids and More

While being surrounded by all the chaos of the world, it is good to stay updated about what is new around the space as well. Recently, the space agency gave a statement about the appointment of new research teams, eight in number to be exact, for the thorough study of Moon, asteroids and Phobos and Deimos, the Martian moons. NASA spent quite some time hand picking the people for the teams as the funding for this project adds up to $10.5 million per year given by the Science and Human Exploration and Operations mission directorates department of NASA.

SSERVI also known as the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute will be involved to support and help the research teams for the next 5 years. Marshall Smith, who is the director at the Human Lunar Exploration Programs, believes that while we are looking out to proceed in to the new era of human explorations regarding moon, SSERVI is playing a very crucial role in strengthening the relation we need between the explorations and science.

Mars and its two moons, Phobos and Deimos

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

While the coming new projects will be more focused on asteroids and other objects, another main focus would be the dirt of the moon. One of the teams will be working on the project at the Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science located in the city of Orlando at the University of Central Florida. The team has high spirits and are feeling strong about helping the scientists in developing the clones of those materials for doing research about them on our very own Earth.

Another project called the Geophysical Exploration of the Dynamics and Evolution of the Solar System will be concerned to study the different geological features on Earth and will be happening at the University of Maryland under the supervision of a different team. This project will help in giving a better knowledge about what human might encounter on the surfaces of two moons of Mars and various other worlds other than ours.

The aim of these projects is not just to understand the materials of regolith but also to have knowledge about how the environment of planets may impact or affect human health during different missions and so the two teams based in Stony Brook University in New York will study the chemical reactivity of the regolith.

Another future mission that the researches are focused on is the use of different lunar resources and the processes needed to extract them. Resource Exploration and Science of OUR Cosmic Environment is working at the NASA’s Ames Research centers based in the state of California and their time will be assigned to investigate the available resources found on the moon and their quantities.

In addition to all this, the team called the Lunar Environment and Dynamics for Exploration based in Maryland at the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre will be studying about how the environment of the space can affect the robotic equipment. It will give attention to the interaction between plasma and the airless bodies found on our moon and will try to model the effects of radiation environment.

According to Lori Glaze, the director of the Planetary Science division, all the discoveries coming forward by these teams will play vital and very important roles for our future explorations relevant to the solar system with robots and humans. The other three from the eight teams include the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Evaluating Volatile Origins team based in Manoa in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii, the Institute for Modelling Plasmas, Atmosphere and Comic Dust based at the Colarado Boulder University and the Center for Lunar Sciences and Exploration at the Lunar and Planetary Institute found in city of Houston in the state of Texas.

These eight teams were not selected in any simple manner, in fact, they were selected out of 20 best research teams with proposals. These eight teams have now joined the four other teams from SSERVI to research more about the Earth’s moon, space environments of the Martian moons called Phobos and the Deimos and the asteroids found near the earth.

Greg Schmidt, the director of institute at the NASA’s Ames Research center has recently said in a statement that, “We are extremely pleased that the community responded with such high-quality proposals, and look forward to the many contributions new SSERVI team members will make in addressing NASA’s science and exploration goals.”


NASA Press RELEASE 19-051