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Planetary Science


Planetary Science News

Dr. Thompson to Investigate Untouched Apollo Samples
While much attention is sometimes given in planetary research to the possibility of returning samples from new celestial bodies, one of the great opportunities for research actually comes from the past. Many samples taken from past missions, including those from the Apollo program to the Moon, were vacuum sealed and never exposed to Earth’s atmosphere.

EAPS Study Identifies Source of ‘Crater Equilibrium’
After several years of study, one thing is clear about the lunar surface: it is a very dynamic environment that changes over time. One example of this can be seen in the way that small craters degrade at the same rate as they form, keeping the number of small craters on the lunar surface constant over time. This equilibrium between the formation and degradation of craters also makes it difficult to judge the scale of close up images of the lunar surface. EAPS scientists have taken a crucial step in solving this problem in a publication authored by Dr. David Minton and coauthored by EAPS undergraduate student Bryan Howl.

Purdue Team Simulating Life on Mars
The air may be breathable and the location is on planet Earth, but for two weeks a multidisciplinary team of Purdue students and alumni will eat, sleep, work and live like they’re on Mars.

Makeup of the Moon
New discoveries include the moon's mineral core and a future astronaut city

Meet the Purdue researcher exploring the Red Planet
One hundred forty million miles from Earth, cold winds whip dust harshly across the planet’s rocky surface. Clouds float through the thin atmosphere, and at night, two tiny moons shine in the sky. Though Mars looks like a desert now, many scientists believe water once flowed freely there, potentially fostering the development of microbial life.


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