by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 16, 2023
NASA has appointed two scientists to coordinate the lunar science teams supporting the first and second crewed lunar landing missions in more than 50 years. NASA's Artemis missions will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore the lunar South Pole region and establish a long-term presence at the Moon.
Noah Petro, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has been named the project scientist for Artemis III, which, in 2025, is scheduled to land the first crewed mission on the Moon's surface since the Apollo missions. Petro has been the project scientist for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which is currently orbiting the Moon and has provided much of the data essential to future lunar missions. Petro will transition to LRO deputy project scientist while serving on the Artemis III mission.
Barbara Cohen, of Goddard, was named project scientist for Artemis IV, which will follow Artemis III and feature a second crewed landing near the Moon's South Pole, as well as the first Gateway assembly mission with the addition of a new element to the lunar space station. Cohen is the principal investigator of NASA's Lunar Flashlight mission, an orbiter aiming to map ice in the permanently shadowed regions of the Moon's South Pole, and the Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer, an instrument aboard Astrobotic's Peregrine Mission 1, one of the first lunar surface delivery contracts awarded through NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative.
"Drs. Petro and Cohen are well respected lunar scientists and leaders within the NASA and broader lunar science communities," said Sarah Noble, Artemis lunar science lead at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "I am very excited to see them step into these critical roles. Their leadership will help us maximize the science we can accomplish as we return humans to the lunar surface."
As Artemis mission project scientists, Petro and Cohen will coordinate and support the work of the various components of the Artemis science team, which includes the Artemis internal science team, the competed geology teams, participating scientists, and the payload teams, as well as provide a voice for the entire science team with the missions' operations teams.
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