PGS: LCROSS overview & results

The April meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society will be held April 15th at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club in Arlington, VA (http://www.fmmcmwr.com/maps.htm) in the Campaign Room.  This month’s talks will be: NASA Mission Overview and Results: Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter by Michael Wargo (NASA, Washington DC).

Please Note: In this meeting, we wish to honor Queenie, a founding member of the Potomac Geophysical Society (1974) and its long time treasurer. She graduated from Smith College in geology, joined the USGS in 1947 at a time when the Survey did not have geophysicists, and spent most of her career involved in measuring the earth’s magnetic field, usually with data obtained from a DC-3.

Abstract:

The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched in tandem aboard an Atlas V rocket on June 18, 2009 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After separating from LRO, LCROSS and spent launch vehicle Centaur went on to make a lunar swing-by and a series of Earth orbits. As they made their final approach toward the moon on October 9, 2009, the Centaur separated and impacted the lunar surface with LCROSS following to collect data until its own impact four minutes later. The permanently shadowed south pole crater impact produced ejecta that upon analyses, confirmed the presence of water and other substances. LRO observed the lunar impact, and continues to circle the moon using seven instruments to provide new and exciting information about our nearest neighbor.

Biographical Information:

Dr. Michael J. Wargo serves as the Chief Lunar Scientist for Exploration Systems at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.   He has degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences (SB) and Materials Science and Engineering (ScD) from MIT. Dr. Wargo is the lead for indentifying high priority physical and life sciences research on the Moon for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and serves as a technical expert providing insight of and input to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation Sensing missions that launched June 19, 2009.  Mike is the science lead for the Agency’s efforts to develop the lunar mapping capabilities that will be critical for the planning and execution of safe and effective exploration missions to the Moon. Dr. Wargo is also the Executive Secretary of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group and President of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group.  While at MIT, Mike was recognized with the John Wulff Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund Prize for exhibiting leadership and creativity while maintaining exceptionally broad and interdisciplinary interests. Dr. Wargo is a two time recipient of NASA’s Cooperative External Achievement Award (1998, 2008) and has been awarded NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal (2000).

Dinner Menu

Chicken Marsala (House salad & vegetables, rolls and butter)

Vanilla Ice Cream

Coffee / tea

A vegetarian meal can be substituted by request.

Reception at 6:30.  Dinner at 7:30.  Talk at 8:30 PM.  Please note that the talk starts earlier than the usual time. Allow 15 minutes for security entering Ft. Myer as all civilian vehicles are searched.  To ensure access to and from Fort Myer use the Hatfield Gate, open 24 hours a day (http://www.fmmcmwr.com/directionsmyer.htm).

If you wish to attend dinner ($25), please make reservations with Joydeep Bhattacharyya at 571-269-8432 or via E-mail. If you wish, please feel free to attend the talk without dinner.  Non-members and guests are welcome.  Visit the PGS web site for new meeting announcements, etc.  Please send changes of address or email to Joydeep.bhattacharyya@saic.com.

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