Training New Explorers for the Surfaces of the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

Tomorrow, a NASA-sponsored Field Training and Research Program begins at Meteor Crater, Arizona. The field training will be led by Dr. David Kring, a geologist and Senior Staff Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas.

Twenty-four Ph.D. and Master's degree-seeking students from across the U.S., and the world, have been selected to be a part of this week-long training program beginning October 16 and ending October 24, 2010. Students will be trained on how craters on Earth and the Moon form, which should better prepare them in impact-cratered terrain, whether on Earth, the Moon, Mars, or some other solar system planetary surface.

Because the Moon has an exquisitely preserved impact cratering record, it is the best and most accessible place in the solar system to explore the fundamental principles of our origins. To prepare for that exploration, the next generation of scientists and astronauts are being trained to work in impact-cratered terrain such as that found at Meteor Crater.

To view a 3-D Flyover Movie of Meteor Crater, visit and for more lunar resources, visit

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The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is managed by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), a national, nonprofit consortium of universities chartered in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences at the request of NASA. The LPI is operated by USRA under a cooperative agreement with the Science Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Contact: (There will be no on-site press briefing)
Julie Tygielski
USRA-Lunar and Planetary Institute
Phone: 281-486-2122

Dr. David Kring
USRA-Lunar and Planetary Institute
(Due to poor telephone coverage in the field, Kring should be contacted by e-mail only.)

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