Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative

Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative

APL holds a key leadership role in NASA’s Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII), which aims to spur the development and deployment of technologies enabling humans to live and work on the Moon.

Headed by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, LSII is pursuing technologies in areas such as power systems, in situ resource utilization, dust mitigation, excavation and construction, and access and operations in extreme environments. Through its Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and next man on the Moon and use innovative technologies — including those developed through LSII — to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.

Illustration of astronauts digging on the Moon
Through its Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and next man on the Moon and use innovative technologies — including those developed through the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative — to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.
Source: NASA

On the Technology Frontier

The APL LSII team, headed by planetary scientist Ben Bussey, contributes to the initiative in four main areas.

APL operates the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC); provides NASA with science and engineering integration expertise; leads analysis of lunar simulants — chemical and technical representations of the materials designers would need to test their technologies; and assists NASA in formulating and assessing technology research opportunities.

Launched in 2020, LSIC is a nationwide alliance of more than 300 universities, nonprofit research institutions, commercial companies, NASA centers and program offices, and other government agencies with a vested interest in the nation’s campaign to establish a sustained presence on the Moon. LSIC is designed to harness the creativity, energy and resources of the nation to keep the United States at the forefront of lunar exploration.

Led by APL planetary scientist Rachel Klima, the consortium holds monthly capabilities-focused meetings and biannual community meetings, and offers mentorship opportunities between members. For more information, visit http://lsic.jhuapl.edu.

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