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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 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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  • Fort Meade’s first ever STEAM Day was held on July 27th in Fort Meade, MD. Middle school students from military families had the opportunity to learn about the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun.
  • Staci Tiedeken of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center led three activities at the event – Oreo Moon phases, Moon impact paintings, and solar observing – and talked about the recent Apollo 11 anniversary with the middle schoolers in...

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Team staffed the American Museum of Natural History SpaceFest on July 20, 2019, a family-focused festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing and future space exploration and research. Throughout the day, the museum reported close to 30,000 admissions. At least 5,000 visited one or more of the following NASA stations: 1) Light and Sound in Space, 2) Scale Models of the Solar System, 3) Magnetic Sun and Magnetic Earth, 4) Solarium https://www.nasa.gov/solarium 5) Science...

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During the Week of July 16-20, Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline through support from SMD and OSTEM round 15 regional challenges commerorating the 50th Anniversary of the Landing of Apollo 11. The overall impact of the program is summarized through overall statistics of the program and the best video and a national news article.

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement (OSTEM) invites the NASA Space Grant community, academia, and industry to submit responses to this Request for Information (RFI) NNH19ZHA001L to assist NASA in evolving the student challenge portfolio beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year. 

NASA’s OSTEM seeks innovative challenge proposals that engage college-level students across the nation in...

Over 500 people attended LPI's Apollo 11 anniversary event on July 20, 2019.

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209 school and public librarians from 37 states and D.C. were excited join the Infiniscope Digital Teaching Network. Librarians were recruited during Hyperwall talks and demonstrations held within the NASA booth at American Library Association in Washington, D.C. from June 21-24, 2019.

Librarians from across the country discovered the free resources available to complement their summer and after school programming. These librarians were specifically excited about visualizations and...

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