This summer, students will be involved in activities that support Artemis missions to the Moon that utilize the Orion crew vehicle, the Deep Space Gateway, the Human Landing System, and robotic assets on the lunar surface. It is a unique opportunity to integrate scientific input with exploration activities in a way that mission architects and spacecraft engineers can use. Activities may involve assessments of landing sites and traverse plans for multiple destinations that are responsive to NASA objectives.
The Exploration Science Summer Intern Program builds on the success of the Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program that was designed to evaluate possible landing sites on the Moon for robotic and human exploration missions. Over a five year period (2008–2012), teams of students worked with Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) science staff and their collaborators to produce A Global Lunar Landing Site Study to Provide the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon. Student teams also produced a series of influential journal articles (O’Sullivan et al. 2011; Flahaut et al. 2012; Lemelin et al. 2014; Potts et al. 2015; Steenstra et al. 2016; Allender et al. 2019; Bickel et al. 2019; Sargeant et al., 2020; Bickel and Kring 2020; Gawronska et al. 2020; Halim et al. 2021; Czaplinski et al 2021). The program for 2022 is designed to have the same impact on future exploration activities.
This program is open to graduate students in geology, planetary science, planetary astronomy, and related topics. The 10-week program runs from May 31, 2022, through August 5, 2022. Selected interns will receive a $6,300 stipend to cover the costs associated with being in Houston for the duration of the program. Additionally, U.S. citizens will receive up to $1,000 in travel expense reimbursement and foreign nationals will receive up to $1,500 in travel expense reimbursement.
We are currently planning to host the program in Houston. However, if the pandemic continues to restrict on-site activities, a virtual edition of the program will persevere.