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SMD Discipline: Planetary Science

This Feed Tab contains announcements - posts - about activities, events, and resources of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Education and Communications Community and related news of interest.

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The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) has created a series of four posters illustrating the link between Earth Day and lunar exploration. The posters are available for download on the LPI website. Each poster is 24" x 36."

Roughly 9,500 people attended the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Kids Week in New York City on February 20 – 22. Staci Tiedeken and Natalie Curran from GSFC’s Solar System Exploration Division (SSED) lead attendees in the making of their own lunar and Martian landers in preparation for future Artemis missions and for the launch of the Mars 2020 Rover. Curran, a planetary geologist in GSFC’s SSED, also spoke to the audience about her work on Apollo lunar samples.

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Members of the NASA collaborative effort with the American Camp Association (ACA) were actively engaged in sharing NASA Science Activation resources as part of the booth at the ACA Conference in San Diego, CA, February 12-13, 2020. The excitement was felt as participants stopped by to have their picture taken in front of the Science Activation Banner with NASA representative Tina Harte and Sha’rell Webb (LPI), while learning about the authentic investigative learning opportunities that...

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Roughly 2,000 people attended the Bell Museum’s Space Fest in St. Paul, MN on February 1-2. Participants learned about lunar science, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, NASA’s Artemis program, meteorites, and the OSIRIS-REx mission courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Solar System Exploration Division. Event goers explored the Moon and near-Earth asteroid Bennu via hands-on tactile models, meteorites (including a touchable lunar meteorite), and Earth...

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Recruitments for the Rovers Observation and Drone Survey (ROADS) on Mars student challenge is in full swing with participation significantly higher that the ANGLeS student challenge fro 2019/2020.

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On November 18 & 19, 2019, Infiniscope officially launched a partnership with LAUSD – East District in an effort to provide interdisciplinary Earth and space science training and resources to middle and high school teachers.

Each day, STEM specialists across East District heard from NASA Program Manager Kristen Erickson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientist Dr. Steve Vance, and Arizona State University’s Infiniscope team. The primary focus for these training days was to share NASA...

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The Earth to Sky Partnership (ETS) team coordinated a NASA booth at the National Association for Interpretation's annual conference in Denver Colorado, Nov 13-16, 2019. ETS staff joined with colleagues from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Earth, Heliophysics, Astrophysics and Planetary sciences outreach staff to engage with hundreds of enthusiastic informal educators at the conference. Many positive contacts were made, and eyes were opened to the broad scientific, visual and educational...

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  • On November 14, 2019, NASA Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division (SSED) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 12. GSFC SSED planetary geologist Natalie Curran discussed her current and future work with Apollo lunar samples through the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program while SSED outreach coordinator Staci Tiedeken provided an overview of lunar exploration before the Apollo era and a retrospective look at the Apollo 12 mission at the GSFC Visitor...

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The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) will host “No Bugs, No Cheese: Sample Studies Since Apollo” by Dr. Juliane Gross. Dr. Gross is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. She is currently on a temporary assignment from Rutgers through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act as the Deputy Curator for Apollo Samples at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.The presentation will be held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the LPI in...

100 students from underrepresented communities in the Houston area attended a free, one-day STEM academy at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) facilitated by volunteers from Best Buy’s Geek Squad. LPI scientists and public engagement staff assisted in integrating planetary science content into the activities.

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LPI's portable planetarium was set-up at the Texas A&M-Galveston campus to share solar system science and exploration with undergraduate maritime studies students. Dr. Michael Evans of NASA JSC used the opportunity to recruit students to take his Spring 2020 planetary geology course that will be offered on campus.

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Episode 114 on "Houston We Have a Podcast", Samuel Lawrence, planetary scientist and lead lunar exploration scientist, discusses what we’ve learned about the Moon and some of the more interesting questions that we hope to answer when humans return in the Artemis program. This episode was recorded on August 28th, 2019

Listen or see the transcript at: https://www.nasa.gov/johnson/HWHAP/the-value-of-the-moon

“Houston We Have a Podcast” is the official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space...

On October 5, 2019, the Goddard Visitor Center celebrated the 10th year of International Observe the Moon Night: an annual global celebration of lunar science and exploration, celestial observation, and our personal and cultural connections to the Moon. 534 visitors + 78 volunteers (from all GSFC science divisions and community partners) participated in the event, which featured a welcome by Charles Bolden and continued celebrations of Apollo 50th anniversaries, current...

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On September 19, 2019, NASA Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division partnered with the Boston Red Sox to host 4,111 students and teachers at historic Fenway Park. Schools from across New England participated, including students from underserved areas and several Massachusetts Teacher of the Year award recipients. Students learned about a wide array of NASA careers and missions through hands-on activities, talks, and demonstrations. In particular, Astronaut Scott Tingle’s recorded message...

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International Observe the Moon Night is an annual worldwide public event that encourages observation and appreciation of the Moon. All are invited to observe the Moon, learn about NASA planetary science and exploration, and celebrate cultural and personal connections to our nearest neighbor. Each year, thousands of people participate at museums, planetaria, schools, universities, observatories, parks, businesses, and backyards around the world. Anyone can participate. All you need to do is...

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) invites inquisitive adults interested in space science and exploration to attend “Lunar Dirt, Rocks, and Legacy: The Lunar Receiving Laboratory’s First Five Years.” Dr. Grant Heiken (above), a member of the Lunar Sample Preliminary Examination Team during Apollo, will discuss how he and his colleagues assisted NASA in preparing for the arrival, and analysis, of rocks and soil from the Moon.

This is the first presentation in LPI’s 2019–2020...

Humanity’s relationship with the Moon fundamentally changed on July 20, 1969. Over 50 years of sample analysis and spacecraft observations show the Moon is a unique planetary body in its own right. We now stand poised to return astronauts to the lunar surface. How did we prepare for the Moon 50 years ago? How has our view of the Moon changed in 50 years? Can the lessons of 50 years ago prepare us for tomorrow? Join the Lunar and Planetary Institute and our guest speakers as we explore...

In partnership with the Texas Space Grant Consortium, NASA Astromaterials Subject Matter Experts at Johnson Space Center shared NASA science and exploration with the ~65 SEES high school intern participants. This included sharing a variety of Astromaterials samples, the Apollo lunar laboratory, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility and more!

The ISS Imagery & Moon SEES teams were toured around by their Astromaterials scientist mentors!

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NASA Astromaterials staff was one of many exhibitors participating in the event. We shared information about meteorites from the Moon and Mars, Apollo Moon rocks, and enabled the public to experience collecting 3D printed samples of Moon rocks with Apollo replica tools off of a printed LRO map of the Moon.

More than 3000 people stayed for 10-30 minutes interacting with our subject matter experts!

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In preparation for celebrations and activities centered around the Apollo program and Moon landing, a webinar with Apollo NASA Engineer (for 54 years), Jerry Woodfill, was facilitated by Paige Graff from the Johnson Space Center by JSC Astromaterials in partnership with STAR Library Networks on July 9, 2019.

Feedback included: “This was a great program to help us with our work to excite people about space exploration. Thank you!"

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Infiniscope combined forces with the teams from GLOBE Observer and My NASA Data to train educators to

•use citizen science tools to collect real-time data

•access global real-time data

•access archival global data

•incorporate these data into lessons they build using the Infiniscope adaptive platform

At least half of these educators reported they are planning to use these products in their classroom in the coming year.

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This Nugget provides a brief summary of Solar System Ambassadors public engagement programs held over the past year to celebrate the Apollo 50th anniversaries leading up to the anniversary of the Moon landing mission.  A batch of new reports came in the day after this Nugget was posted.  It was updated on 8/8/2019 to include those numbers.

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Throughout the month of July, NASA Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division contributed to the overall social media initiative for the #Apollo50th anniversary, focusing on sharing lunar science through the NASA Moon, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and NASA Solar System social media accounts.

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The Apollo celebration on the National Mall was a multiday event (7/18-7/20) that drew in tens of thousands of people from around the world, despite the heat. Andrea Jones and Staci Tiedeken of GSFC’s SSED led the SSED’s contributions to this event which included:

  • Moon to Mars Tent:
    • Going back in history with a lunar exploration timeline
    • Exploring Mars’s crustal magnetic field using MAVEN
    • Learning about the Curiosity rover
    • Discovering how places on Earth are similar to...

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160 elementary and middle school students from underserved communities attended a NASA astronaut STEM engagement visit hosted by the Office of Congressman Jose Serrano for the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBro) & BronxWorks.

Staci Tiedeken and Andrea Jones of GSFC’s SSED discussed past, present, and future lunar exploration; Rock Abrasion Tools onboard the Mars Exploration Rovers constructed in part from World Trade Center materials to honor victims of 9/11; and...

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