Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 – 24 September 2021
Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 September – 24 September 2021
Open Lunar Science: Samples, Observations & Innovation


A great wealth of knowledge of our Moon stems from sampling and observing its surface. This session aims to attract a variety of scientific contributions addressing lunar surface processes and (mega)regolith evolution in terms of geology, geochronology, geophysics, geodynamics, geochemistry, numerical modeling, and remote sensing.

In addition, lunar science and exploration are developing further with new and exciting missions being developed by China, the US, Japan, India, Russia, Korea and Europe, and with new stakeholders. This session will address open lunar science and innovation:

- Celebrating the legacy of Apollo and Luna programmes after 50+ years
- Recent lunar results: geochemistry, geophysics in the context of open planetary science and exploration
- Synthesis of results from Clementine, Prospector, SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang’e 1, 2 and 3, Chandrayaan-1, LCROSS, LADEE, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Artemis and GRAIL
- First results from Chang'E 4, Chang'E 5 , Chandrayaan2,
- Goals and Status of missions under preparation: orbiters, CLPS, Luna25-27, SLIM, Commercial landers, Lunar sample return missions, Future cargo landers, EL3
- Precursor missions, instruments and investigations for landers, rovers, sample return, and human cis-lunar activities, Gateway, and human lunar surface sorties (Artemis and International Lunar Base)
- Next International Lunar Decade: databases, instruments, missions, terrestrial field campaigns, support studies
- ILEWG and Global Exploration roadmaps towards a global robotic/human Moon village
- Strategic Knowledge Gaps, and key science Goals relevant to Lunar Global Exploration
- The Moon for planetary science, life sciences, astronomy, fundamental research, resources utilisation, human spaceflight, peaceful cooperation, economical development, inspiration, training and capacity building.
- How a laboratory on the Moon should be equipped to be useful for a variety of disciplines, including geology, biology, and chemistry
- Historical, societal, humanistic aspects of lunar exploration

Co-organized by MITM
Conveners: Bernard Foing, Tiantian Liu | Co-conveners: Philipp Gläser, Wajiha Iqbal, Thomas Kruijer, José Luis Mesa Uña, Joana S. Oliveira, Stephanie C. Werner
Thu, 16 Sep, 11:45–12:30 (CEST)

Session assets

Discussion on Slack

Oral and Poster presentations and abstracts

Chairpersons: Bernard Foing, Tiantian Liu, Joana S. Oliveira
James Head

The Earth’s Moon is a cornerstone and keystone in the understanding of the origin and evolution of the terrestrial, Earth-like planets.  It is a cornerstone in that most of the other paradigms for the origin, modes of crustal formation (primary, secondary and tertiary), bombardment history, role of impact craters and basins in shaping early planetary surfaces and fracturing and modifying the crust and upper mantle, volcanism and the formation of different types of secondary crust, and petrogenetic models where no samples are available, all have a fundamental foundation in lunar science.  The Moon is a keystone in that knowledge of the Moon holds upright the arch of our understand of the terrestrial planets. It is thus imperative to dedicate significant resources to the continued robotic and human exploration of this most accessible of other terrestrial planetary bodies, and to use this cornerstone and keystone as a way to frame critical questions about the Solar System as a whole, and to explore other planetary bodies to modify and strengthen the lunar paradigm.   

What is the legacy, the long-term impact of our efforts? The Apollo Lunar Exploration Program revealed the Earth as a planet, showed the inextricable links of the Earth-Moon system, and made the Solar System our neighborhood. We now ask: What are our origins and where are we heading?: We seek to understand the origin and evolution of the Moon, the Moon’s links to the earliest history of Earth, and its lessons for exploration and understanding of Mars and other terrestrial planets. A basis for our motivation is the innate human qualities of curiosity and exploration, and the societal/species-level need to heed Apollo 16 Commander John Young’s warning that “Single-planet species don’t survive!”. These perspectives impel us to learn the lessons of off-Earth, long-term, long-distance resupply and self-sustaining presence, in order to prepare for the exploration of Mars and other Solar System destinations. 

Key questions in this lunar exploration endeavor based on a variety of studies and analyses (1-3) include:

-How do planetary systems form and evolve over time and when did major events in our Solar System occur?

How did planetary interiors differentiate and evolve through time, and how are interior processes expressed through surface-atmosphere interactions?

-What processes shape planetary surfaces and how do these surfaces record Solar System history?

-How do worlds become habitable and how is habitability sustained over time?

-Why are the atmospheres and climates of planetary bodies so diverse, and how did they evolve over time?

-Is there life elsewhere in the Solar System?

Specific lunar goals and objectives will be outlined in this broad planetary science context.


References: 1. Carle Pieters et al. (2018), 2. Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, 3) Erica Jawin et al. Planetary Science Priorities for the Moon in the Decade 2023-2033: Lunar Science is Planetary Science.

How to cite: Head, J.: Open questions in lunar science (invited talk), Europlanet Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-851,, 2021.

Prateek Tripathi and Rahul Dev Garg

Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter carries eight experiments for studies, including morphology, surface geology, composition, and exospheric measurements based upon the understanding and information from the previous lunar orbital missions. Orbiter high-resolution camera (OHRC), one of the payloads, has a very high spatial resolution of 0.25 m. It operates in a visible panchromatic (PAN) band with a swath of 3 km from an altitude of 100 km. OHRC will search for hazard-free zones and map the landing site for future human missions. This work presents the initial impressions from the first data release of the OHRC on-board Chandrayaan-2. Here the OHRC image is analyzed for large-scale features like boulders, ridges, and craters on the lunar surface. Classification and visual analysis have been carried out to check the shape (morphology) and location of many impact craters. As seen from OHRC images, the lunar surface near to Hagecius lunar impact crater is dominated by the repetitive and frequent bombardment of small meteorites varying from millimeters to centimeters. The extent of degradation and erosion of a few large craters due to space weathering or the continuous meteorite bombardment is clearly observed. The results provide more clarification towards the ongoing physical processes on the moon. OHRC image provides a much detailed understanding of lunar topography and morphology. 

How to cite: Tripathi, P. and Garg, R. D.: Initial results from the Optical High-Resolution camera (OHRC) onboard Chandrayaan-2, Europlanet Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-83,, 2021.

Mark Robinson

Chang'e 5 Landing Site Topography

How to cite: Robinson, M.: Chang'e 5 Landing Site Topography, Europlanet Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-863,, 2021.

John Hamilton

Hawai`i Island has had a pivotal role in human Lunar Exploration by virtue of its high-fidelity science and technical field sites.  The geologic and historically recent volcanic landscape along with the geochemical simularity of Hawaiian basalts with Lunar basalts have made Hawaii a prime location for field test simulations.   This presentation will briefly highlight the legacy Apollo astronaut geology training. The  post-Shuttle In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) field tests on equipment &  techniques for lunar oxygen production will be covered along with mission simulations for NASA’s RESOLVE and VIPER lunar polar missions.  Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP) field trials have also occurred.  Finally educational aspects with University level robotic mining competitions (Lunabotics/RMC/PRISM) will be shown.

            The geo-technical properties of the tephra (basalt sand) at the field site(s) will be explored, and shown to provide a good lunar simulant for laboratory use and experimentation. Samples are still currently available for researchers.

How to cite: Hamilton, J.: Lunar Science, Resources and Innovation at Field Simulations, Europlanet Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-867,, 2021.

Hannah Reilly, Bernard Foing, Gary Brady, Chirayu Mohan, Kevin McGrath, Patrycja Lakomiec, Anouk Ehreiser, Gaia De Palma, Leander Schlarmann, Armin Wedler, Nicole Schmitz, and Isabella Pagano

An expedition EMM-Etna to simulate the Lunar and Martian volcanic and soil environment will be carried out at Mount.Etna’s Cratere del Laghetto in Sicily, near Catania Italy by the EuroMoonMars TUDublin and LEAPS ExoMars groups. This scouting campaign intends to train in using instruments to be used on MoonMars landers and rovers, with a perspective of ARCHES DLR telerobotics campaign to be conducted in June 2022, and in preparation for ExoMars rover instruments (PANCAM, CLUPI and spectrometers) science and operations.




Figure 1: Lunar Lander and REMMI Rover for Sample Analysis

The aim of this EMM-Etna expedition is to investigate and analyse the terrain with the use of different scientific instruments. The topography of the landscape will be photographed using a 360° panoramic camera and drone; it will be processed, and a 3D model developed. The terrain will also be investigated using the REMMI Rover, the abilities of the rover to operate and transport equipment will be monitored. This will further develop the knowledge available of the terrain and help future expeditions to identify different landmarks. The use of a Radio Jove Antenna will permit the team to monitor transmissions from both the Sun and Jupiter. This will allow different cosmic events or changes in the celestial objects to be studied and explored. On site a selection of different samples will also be collected and examined using the REMMI Rover. An Ocean Optics UV-Vis-NIR spectrometer will a be operated  in order to evaluate the existence of biological compounds and substances within these samples and in the area itself. It is key to understand the molecular makeup of one’s surroundings when in an unknown environment. By analysing samples collected, spectroscopy can be used to identify and determine a diagnostic for each substance. This process will be monitored by a Logitech camera to ensure it is carried put correctly. A selection of photographs will be captured of each sample using a portable optical microscope. This will allow an in-depth analysis of the microscopic structure of each collected sample. The use of all of the instruments mentioned above is key in the investigation and research into the Moon and Martian-like volcanic environment that is Mount Etna.

We would also like to thank Prof I. Pagano's team from the University of Catania and Dr A.Wedler's team from DLR Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt for their support in organising this expedition.

How to cite: Reilly, H., Foing, B., Brady, G., Mohan, C., McGrath, K., Lakomiec, P., Ehreiser, A., De Palma, G., Schlarmann, L., Wedler, A., Schmitz, N., and Pagano, I.: Instruments Operations, Science and Innovation in Expedition Support: EuroMoonMars-Etna campaign 2021, Europlanet Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-848,, 2021.

Francois Jocteur Monrozier, Sébastien Barde, Thérèse Barroso, Laurence Lorda, and Jean Blouvac

In 2017, CNES has enforced its visibility and ambitions in Scientific exploration programs by creating the FOCSE (French Operations Centre for Science and Exploration) center. FOCSE groups all the Science Operations activities, including ground segment development, operations and data valorization for the domains involved in the Scientific exploration including Astrophysics & Fundamental Physics, Planets, Small bodies & Solar Physics and Human Spaceflight (Nutrition, Healthcare, Life Science, …). This gives an advantage increasing synergy and commonalities between the different missions and allowing operational people to focus only on what makes each mission original and specific.


FOCSE integrates the CADMOS Centre created in 1993, the COMS (Planets Mission centers), Astronomy & Solar systems mission in order to implement a synergetic merge of science in astronomy, solar systems, microgravity and space exploration (robotic and manned). As an example of synergy, we will present the FOCSE Moons & small bodies facility that will be set up for Cubesats activities within the frame of ESA’s planetary defense HERA mission and also in support to JAXA’s MMX mission. This effort will capitalize on our expertise based on our contributions to Rosetta/Philae and Hayabusa2/Mascot on Mission Analysis and visualizing tools to support Scientific activities. We will also present the Spaceship project that has started in coordination with ESA to contribute to the development of technologies for exploration.


More recently, CNES proposes to set up a new innovation Lab facility, based on an immersive and open facility for innovation on exploration technologies. Technologies of interests have been identified and will be developed with our partners and also with new actors, in order to allow dynamic spin in and spin off approaches for Exploration technologies. Thanks to this new facility, CNES will provide technical means to create new, innovative, disruptive systems, gather assets from Research, Universities and Industries (from startup to large industrial group) into the same melting-pot, foster collaboration between partners and CNES experts in all space sciences/technologies and operations and join international network of spaceships.


The CNES roadmap on Science is defined, the Technological part of this roadmap will be expanded with new Technological opportunities. The proposed paper will present an overview of the CNES strategy and how we implement it on a kind of “DevOps” approach to accelerate and innovate as much as possible, including also a digital factory platform, with the main idea to federate to the network of French Exploration actors (means and expertise) to enforce synergies with ESA and international partners in order to contribute to future Exploration missions.


How to cite: Jocteur Monrozier, F., Barde, S., Barroso, T., Lorda, L., and Blouvac, J.: FOCSE: CNES Exploration contributions for Operations and Innovation, Europlanet Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-843,, 2021.

Jose Luis Mesa, Marina Díaz Michelena, Oscar García Monasterio, and Joana S. Oliveira


The characterization of the magnetic field and the magnetic properties are useful tools to understand the composition, structure and geological history of the surface rocks. Additionally, this has important implications on the determination of magnetic fields present in the early history of the planets.

Determining the complex magnetic susceptibility (both real and imaginary parts) of rocks is important to obtain their complete magnetic characterization [1]. Real and imaginary susceptibility provide complementary information, such as: how much magnetization can acquire a rock in the presence of an external field, how this magnetization behaves under alternating current (AC) and the magnetic energy losses during the magnetization by different mechanisms (induced currents, hysteresis, etc.), which helps in the identification of minerals, magnetic carriers and their phases.  This information could be used in the selection criteria of rocks for sample return missions or for the in-situ scientific studies of the magnetic properties during planetary missions.


The Space Magnetism Area at INTA has developed a magnetic instrument, named “NEWTON susceptometer”, for the determination of the complex magnetic susceptibility, to characterize planetary soil and rocks during in situ exploration [2]. The instrument design is based on AC - inductive methods, reaching a resolution of about c = 10−4 (S.I. Vol. Susceptibility) and a dynamic range between c’ = 10−4 S.I. and c’ = 101 S.I. for the real susceptibility, which are representative values  for the rocks of the Earth, Moon and Mars [3, 4, 5]. The imaginary susceptibility measurement procedure is currently under calibration, with an expected resolution in the order of c” = 10−6. Such resolution is adequate for most natural rocks characterization and competitive with that of larger and widely proven laboratory instruments (like a Vibrating Sample Magnetometer – VSM). Additionally, the sensor size, power consumption and portability make it suitable to be placed on board rovers, or to be used as a portable device during field campaigns and by astronauts in manned space missions. Furthermore, this sensor provides a great advantage compared to available commercial susceptometers, given that it does not require sample preparation, but only a minimum sample size of 50 x 20 x 20 mm approximately.

The instrument has successfully passed vibration and thermo-vacuum tests representative of interplanetary missions, and is being used in scientific campaigns in terrestrial analogs to characterize in situ the real part of the susceptibility. In particular, the instrument has been used during field campaigns in Cerro Gordo volcano, in Spain


Cerro Gordo is a volcano located at 38° 50’ 1.353’’ N, 3° 44’ 20.068’’ W, by Granátula de Calatrava, Ciudad Real (Spain), with a greatest axis of 1000 meters and a relative height of 90 meters. Previous studies date the volcano between 4.7 and 1.75 million years ago, during the Pliocene and Quaternary periods. Throughout its history, it went through several volcanic phases, i.e. strombolian and phreatomagmatic. It has been proposed as a Martian analogue for the similarities of the structure with other volcanoes on the surface of the Red Planet [6]. Cerro Gordo area hosts rocks of different geological origins, from quartzite (box rock) to phreatomagmatic and strombolian phases along a transversal line of the volcano, comprising different minerals with a high range of magnetic susceptibility values. These characteristics make Cerro Gordo an excellent scenario for a demonstration campaign of the susceptometer prototype.


In Cerro Gordo, we have determined the magnetic susceptibility in-situ in order to mimic the operation of future exploration missions. The study includes the measurement of ten different outcrops on the volcano, which are representative of the volcanic phases and the field basement (Figure 1). The susceptibility measurements have served successfully to distinguish between the rocks from a spatter deposit and the box rock.

Figure 1A shows the susceptibility, measured in situ, of 13 rocks along a transect of the volcano. Rocks 15_1, 13_1, 13_2, 12_1 and 5_1 corresponds to the box rock and scoria from strombolian eruptions. They cast low values of susceptibility in good correlation with the nature of the quarzites (box rock) and the fast cooling history of the surface scoria. Five other samples (22_1, 10_2, 10_3, 10_4 and 9_1) with heterogeneous composition, show medium susceptibility values, four of them corresponding to non-cohesive rocks of the top of a spatter deposit. The highest susceptibility values of Figure 1A corresponds to the bottom part of the spatter deposit: rocks 23_1 and 24_1: a compact rock associated to a low speed cooling history.

In Figure 1B we study the spatter flow in more detail, dividing this structure into three deposits: a very compact layer (1) with the highest values of susceptibility, friable rocks with some levels of fluidity (2) with low values of the susceptibility, and some cohesive rocks (3) with medium values of susceptibility and supposedly more heterogeneous.

Figure 1. A - Magnetic susceptibility values measured with the susceptometer prototype in April 2021. B - Magnetic susceptibility values measured with the susceptometer prototype. 10% represents the value of the susceptibility for the calibration pattern with 10% content in ferrite.

It has been proved that the susceptometer is a useful tool for the in situ determination of the magnetic susceptibility during field campaigns. This is due to its good performance during the field work and its capability to discern between the different rock units and furthermore, among different deposits. It supposes a novel tool for fast analysis because it is a handheld device and its measurements do not require sample preparation.



This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 730041 and the Spanish National Plan project ESP2017-88930-R.




[1]      Kuipers,  B. W. M. et al. Review of Scientific Instruments 79, 013901 (2008).

[2]       Díaz Michelena, M. et al. Sensor Actuat A-Phys, vol. 263, pp. 471-479, 2017.

[3]       Rochette, P. et al (2005). Meteoritic and Planetary Science, 40 (4): 529–540.

[4]       Rochette, P. (2010). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 292: 383–391.

[5]       Hunt C.P., et al (2013). Wiley. Online Library.

[6]       O.G. Monasterio et al. Terrestrial Analogs 2021 (LPI Contrib. No. 2595).

How to cite: Mesa, J. L., Díaz Michelena, M., García Monasterio, O., and Oliveira, J. S.: Susceptometer for fast and in-situ determination of the complex magnetic susceptibility. Field demonstration in Cerro Gordo volcano, a Martian analogue., Europlanet Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-844,, 2021.

ILOA Update, 5 Moon Missions
Steve Durst
David Heather, Elliot Sefton-Nash, Richard Fisackerly, Roland Trautner, Simeon Barber, Philipp Reiss, and Berengere Houdou

Introduction: The Package for Resource Observation and in-Situ Prospecting for Exploration, Commercial exploitation and Transportation (PROSPECT) is a payload in development by ESA for use at the lunar surface. Current development is for flight on the Russian-led Luna-Resource Lander (Luna 27) mission, which will target the south polar region of the Moon.

PROSPECT will perform an assessment of the volatile inventory in the near surface regolith (down to a depth of ~ 1 m), and elemental and isotopic analyses to determine the abundance and origin of any volatiles discovered [1] (Fig. 1).

Credit: ESA/ROSCOSMOS/IKI/Lavochkin Association.

Figure 1: Graphical representation of PROSPECT onboard Luna 27 during surface operations.

In addition to the volatile studies, PROSPECT will perform a demonstration of In-Situ Resource Utilization techniques, extracting solar-wind implanted oxygen from lunar minerals.  This demonstration will constitute potential science return from anywhere on the Moon, regardless of volatile content.

PROSPECT is comprised of the ProSEED drill module (including a permitivity sensor on the drill), and the ProSPA analytical laboratory, plus the Solids Inlet System (SIS) (Fig. 2).

Credit: LDO / NPOL / IKI

Figure 2: Renderings of PROSPECT onboard Luna 27, including the ProSEED drill (left), and ProSPA (right).  ProSPA comprises 1) the Solids Inlet System (lower right), with a camera assembly [2] and a carousel of ovens used for volatile extraction, and 2) the analytical laboratory (upper right) containing a gas processing system, and magnetic sector plus ion-trap mass spectrometers.


Development status and current activities: Phase C (detailed definition) began in December 2019.  In parallel to the industrial activity, an associated plan of research has been formulated to guide ongoing development, build strategic scientific knowledge, and to prepare for payload operations.

Drill Testing. Tests of the ProSEED Development Model wer carried out in December 2019, including drilling into, and sampling from, well-characterized NU-LHT-2M simulant mixed with anorthosite inclusions of various plausible sizes [3, 4].  The main functionalities of the drill system were successfully demonstrated and required performances were achieved in these tests.

ProSPA Bench Development Model (BDM). The BDM of the ProSPA analytical lab at the Open University has been tested to demonstrate science performance against measurement requirements. Dedicated efforts recently focused on verification of evolved gas analysis (EGA) and demonstration of ISRU capabilities [5, 6], improving our understanding of our sensitivity to volatile abundance and possible contamination [7].

Volatile Preservation: Particular efforts have recently focused on understanding the capability of PROSPECT to sufficiently preserve the volatile content in regolith throughout the sampling-analysis chain for the range of expected volatile contents, e.g. [8].  Detailed modelling and experimental work is ongoing to better understand water sublimation rates in realistic lunar surface operational environments, regolith structures, and geometries [9], and to better constrain the potential effect on measured D/H of sublimation of lunar water ice [10]. Results from this will help ensure that even in a ‘hot operational case’, the original volatile inventory can be determined with sufficiently small uncertainties.

Sample analysis: In 2020, PROSPECT Science Team members successfully requested two samples of lunar regolith (2 g each) from the Apollo collections.  Proposed experiments will investigate loss of water ice through sublimation and the effects that the bulk properties and the ice-regolith coupling have on the sublimation process.

ProSEED Imaging System: ProSEED includes an imaging system (Fig. 3) with LED illumination, which will be used to image the drilling operations, the build-up of the ‘cuttings pile’ as the drill descends, and the samples as they are transferred to the ProSPA laboratory for analyses.  The Engineering Model of the imaging system is currently with the science team for testing, and is being fully characterized from a scientific perspective.  This will include some dedicated testing to see how the performance of the imager and the LED illumination changes in response to increasing coverage by simulated lunar dust.