A new consortium that includes researchers from HIGP will investigate the origins and evolution of water and other volatiles, or low-boiling point compounds, on the surface of the Moon. The team is one of NASA’s eight new Solar system Exploration Research Virtual Institutes (SSERVI). The UH component of the grant will bring $2.7 million to the university over five years and will be led by Hope Ishii (HIGP Research professor). Other HIGP members of the team are Paul Lucey, John Bradley, Shuai Li, Tayro Acosta-Maeda, and Barbara Bruno. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will also be engaged in the effort. Principal investigator is Jeffrey Gillis-Davis, formerly of HIGP and now at Washington University in St. Louis.
The grant to the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Evaluating Volatile Origins (ICE Five-O) will allow the researchers to study the effects of interactions of lunar soil and simulants with volatiles at nanometer length scales in the transmission electron microscope housed in the UH Advanced Electron Microscopy Center, all while controlling the temperature from the cryogenic conditions in permanently-shadowed regions to the warmer temperatures of sunlit regions. This will also allow the researchers to study the effects of space weathering in the harsh space environment. ICE Five-O will also address curation protocols for sample return and the evolution of volatiles and minerals within long-duration, curated samples. See Marcie Grabowski’s full SOEST News Release. Illustration: Artist rendition of future astronauts on the Moon. Image credit: NASA.