Faculty Research Associate (LROC), Arizona State University
Dr. Samuel Lawrence is a planetary scientist at Arizona State University. Dr. Lawrence's current research interests focus on the investigation of the composition, origin, and evolution of planetary surfaces by integrating petrology with remote sensing. Uniquely, he carries out petrologic investigations of meteorites and lunar samples, as well as remote sensing investigations using spacecraft data, and fundamental research designed to improve techniques of spectroscopic investigation. As a Co-Investigator on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Camera instrument team, Dr. Lawrence draws from a wide range of data from the LRO mission to understand lunar volcanic processes and the thermal history of the Moon. His other research interests include the petrology and geochemistry of planetary materials, the origin and evolution of the asteroid belt, and the location and processing of space resources on the Moon and asteroids. One of a new generation of lunar scientists, Dr. Lawrence maintains an interest In-Situ Resource Utilization and frequently collaborates with aerospace industry partners to define precursor scientific missions and human space exploration activities.
Biographical information and photo credit: ASU SESE website
A few people think that when it comes to the Moon, because we’ve “been there, and done that,” there is nothing new left to discover. But that viewpoint could not be farther from the truth!
For over four decades, the lunar science community has absorbed the information from the Apollo missions. Although many important questions were answered, many important new questions are waiting to be tackled -- which is the very essence of science and exploration.
One primary goal of the LRO mission is to acquire the amazing bounty of scientific data necessary to enable future human lunar exploration and utilization. But why should we even bother going back?