Planetary Science at the Open University 2017-2020

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Faculty of Sci, Tech, Eng & Maths (STEM)

Abstract

Our proposed research programme addresses the origin and evolution of the Solar System, including surfaces, atmospheres and physical, geological, chemical and biological processes on the terrestrial planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, icy satellites and extraterrestrial materials, in a range of projects which address the STFC Science Roadmap challenge B: "How do stars and planetary systems develop and is life unique to our planet?"

The inner rocky bodies of the Solar System are of particular importance in understanding planetary system evolution, because of their common origin but subsequent divergent histories. Lunar samples will be used to determine the abundance and composition of volatile elements on the Moon, their source(s) in the lunar interior, and processes influencing their evolution over lunar geological history. Oxygen isotope analysis will be used to determine the conditions and processes that shape the formation of materials during the earliest stages of Solar System formation. Mars is the focus of international Solar System exploration programmes, with the ultimate aim of Mars Sample Return. We will: investigate the martian water cycle on global and local scales through a synthesis of atmospheric modeling, space mission data and surface geology; assess potential changes in the composition of Mars' atmosphere over time through measurement of tracers trapped in martian meteorites of different ages; and determine whether carbon dioxide, rather than water flow, is able to account for recently active surface features on Mars. Mercury is an end-member in the planet-formation spectrum and we plan to exploit NASA MESSENGER data to study its origin and crustal evolution, and prepare for ESA's BepiColombo mission.
The cold outer regions of the Solar System, and particularly comets, are believed to have retained some of the most pristine primitive material from their formation. We plan to probe the composition and origins of cometary material and understand the processes that drive cometary activity through: laboratory analysis of the most primitive Interplanetary Dust Particles; and direct measurements of a comet by our instruments on the Rosetta mission, together with laboratory simulations. We will conduct laboratory ultraviolet observations of irradiated ices to provide new insights into the composition of Solar System ices and how they may create atmospheres around their parent bodies. We will also investigate the role volatiles can play in the cohesion ("making") of Solar System minor bodies, and the fragmentation that can be achieved by thermal cycling (a candidate process that "breaks" them).
The question of whether Earth is a unique location for life in the Solar System remains one of the most enduring questions of our time. We plan to investigate how the geochemistry of potentially habitable environments on Mars, Europa and Enceladus would change over geological timescales if life was present, producing distinguishable biomarkers that could be used as evidence of life in the Solar System. We will study the role of hypervelocity impacts in: the processing of compounds of critical interest to habitability (water, sulfur-species, organic species) during crater formation; and the hydrothermal system of the 100 km diameter Manicouagan impact structure in Canada to assess the astrobiological implications of hydrothermal systems for early Mars.

In addition to satisfying humanity's innate desire to explore and understand the Universe around us, our research has more tangible benefits. We use the analytical techniques involved from development of space and laboratory instrumentation for applications with companies in fields as diverse as medicine, security, tourism and cosmetics. One of the most important benefits of our research is that it helps to train and inspire students - the next generation of scientists and engineers - through training within the University and public outreach and schools programmes.

Planned Impact

Knowledge Exchange:
During the grant period, staff expect to pursue the impact agenda through collaborations with the public (UK Space Agency, European Space Agency, etc.) and private (e.g., AirBus, RAL-Space, etc.) sectors. Our well-established collaboration with the technology company e2v is based on a training programme of research projects co-funded by STFC CASE awards. The programme has trained around 30 engineers, who have studied sensor damage through space irradiation, developed new sensor testing techniques and improved sensor design, adding to the capabilities of e2v. Around 10 SME have been established in the planetary and space science area involving staff covered by this grant. These are working closely with OU staff to develop spin-offs from our space instrumentation programme, including the design of a vacuum valve, technology for detecting bed bugs in hotel rooms and detecting bladder cancer in patients. A further spin-off from our Rosetta work is a method measure the properties of porous samples of volatile material - i.e., snow, being used for real-time in situ monitoring of the quality of artificial snow for winter sports.

Our plans for future exploitation of our research build on areas where our expertise and instrument development capabilities are securing funding. For example, through our membership of ESA's ELIPS programme, we are attempting to advance the instrument that was deployed on the Philae lander into a version that could be used for astronaut monitoring. We have also been invited to contribute to an ESA/Roscosmos mission, Luna-27, that is currently under consideration. If this goes ahead, it will see instrumentation from Rosetta developed to explore the southern lunar pole, part of the vision of the current ESA DG for an eventual "lunar village". We continue to offer analytical services based on our laboratory instrumentation. Whilst we take on contractual work at commercial rates, the excellence of our laboratories, combined with staff expertise, enabled us to win the lead role in the EU-funded Horizon 2020 EuroPlanet Research Infrastructure programme (http://www.europlanet-2020-ri.eu/), one of the largest projects funded at 10M Euro.

Public engagement:
The Open University (OU) has a mission to be "open as to people, places, methods and ideas" and our research holds closely to this ideal.
The OU has a unique (amongst HEIs) agreement with the BBC, in which the it co-produces up to 20 television and 7 radio series a year on the BBC, about a third of which support STEM subjects. The OU also works with other broadcasters to produce curriculum-related programmes. Series in which planetary science staff have had input include Inside Science (weekly on Radio 4) and Stargazing Live (annually on TV). The OU has four YouTube channels with around 30 million views to date. One of the channels is dedicated to research at the OU.

The OU is one of the leading worldwide providers of free online educational resources and founded FutureLearn, the UK's MOOC (Massive Open On-line Courses) provider. Two of these free short-courses have been written by Co-Is on this proposal: Moons and In the Night Sky with around 25000 students to date.

Planetary science and exploration are subjects that elicit great public interest (as witnessed by the media coverage of Rosetta and the Philae landing). We regularly engage with schools (at all levels of the curriculum), amateur societies and the general public, through: visits and lectures; radio and TV interviews; the daily news blog The Conversation (61 articles, read 1.5 million times, from applicants in the past two years); exhibitions, including Royal Society Summer shows. Examples of forthcoming events that will attract media attention are the total solar eclipse in August 2017 and the solar transit of Mercury in November 2019. We will use these as vehicles for informing the public about the Moon and Mercury.

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Abernethy F (2018) Basaltic volcanism on the angrite parent body: Comparison with 4 Vesta in Meteoritics & Planetary Science

publication icon
Alexander C (2018) A mutli-technique search for the most primitive CO chondrites in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

publication icon
Altwegg K (2017) Organics in comet 67P - a first comparative analysis of mass spectra from ROSINA-DFMS, COSAC and Ptolemy in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 
Description Five projects were funded in this award, involving the study of lunar volatiles, primitive meteorites, comets, asteroids and the study of potentially habitable environments. Significant achievements include:
* Successful development of analytical protocols for measuring H and Cl (abundance and isotopes) using a NanoSIMS in partially crystalline melt inclusions (MIs) in lunar basalts.
* Demonstration that MIs and their parental melts were influenced by a variety of processes such as hydrogen diffusion, degassing and assimilation of material affected by solar-wind implantation.
* Lunar basaltic parental magmas were heterogeneous, with a broadly chondritic hydrogen isotopic composition, whereas chlorine isotopic composition primarily reflects the signature of the source region of the lunar basalts, compatible with the hypothesis that in the majority of the cases the heavy Cl isotopic signature of the Moon was acquired during the earliest stages of lunar magma ocean evolution.
* The identification of a previously un-recorded reservoir in the very earliest stages of the protoplanetary disk, before the formation of most CAIs (Calcium Aluminium Inclusions - some of the earliest condensates).
* An examination of how oxygen isotope reservoirs evolved across a range of regions of the protoplanetary disk sampled by inner solar system bodies through to outer disk materials.
* A coordinated analysis of Rosetta orbiter and Philae lander data on comet 67P that led to new insights into the composition of cometary surface material, confirming the complex nature of organics on the surface, which is much more diverse than anticipated. The presence of polyoxymethylene, initially inferred from the Ptolemy spectrum was found to be unlikely but the signature of toluene was identified in Ptolemy data.
* The derivation of an unexpectedly high refractory to ice ratio in cometary nuclei.
* Contribution to a multi-instrument study that provides evidence for the formation of 67P through gentle gravitational collapse of a bound clump of mm-sized dust aggregates.
* Evaluation of the stability of sub-surface ice on the first interstellar "asteroid" 1I/'Oumuamua.
* Identification of variability of the dependence of thermal inertia of asteroids with heliocentric distance, which gives insights into their surface properties.
* Thermophysical analysis of near-Earth asteroid Bennu from the NASA OSIRIS-Rex mission, which provided: detailed thermal inertia and surface roughness maps; derivation of the Yarkovsky forces and YORP torques which drive the dynamical and physical evolution of small bodies; perturbing forces for gravity field and density inhomogeneity determination; insights into particle ejection mechanisms; interpretation of spectral data; assistance in sample site selection and characterisation.
* Identification of geological regions on Mars that may be habitable, using thermochemically-modelled brines and an analogue microbial community.
* Demonstration, using laboratory-based simulations and thermochemical modelling, that biotic activity can influence the formation of secondary alteration minerals over geological timescales.
* Development of an Enceladus silicate simulant.
* Demonstration that environmental conditions impact microbial volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles.
Exploitation Route Publications resulting from the work funded in this grant are at the forefront of research in each of their respective sub-fields of planetary science and contribute to the international scientific goal of understanding the origin and evolution of the Solar System.

The funded projects within this grant have led to related further work funded within the following OU consolidated grant (ST/T000228/1) as well as other funding bodies. They have also contributed to development of future mission proposals, planning and operations (e.g., in-situ lunar volatile detectors; Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-Rex near-Earth asteroid returned sample analysis; ESA F-class Comet Interceptor mission; CASTAway asteroid main belt explorer proposal for ESA M5; DART/Hera planetary defence missions; NASA Lucy trojan asteroid explorer; ESA JUICE and NASA Europa Clipper missions to the Jovian icy moons).
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education

 
Description The research undertaken in this consolidated grant represents blue skies research in planetary science and therefore the impact is predominantly in enhanced public knowledge and appreciation of our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System, and environments for the development of life. However, we continue to identify wider applications for the novel techniques developed primarily for scientific research Planetary exploration enthuses the public and motivates new generations of scientists. We contribute through specific outreach events, such as popular talks, exhibitions and other activities, as well as wide-reaching free educational materials through the OU's OpenLearn and FutureLearn platforms. In particular, our annual Moon Night, and and exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Exhibitions, together with other events in 2019, celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the Moon landings. In addition, OU scientists are regular contributors to press and broadcast media. Our lunar volatiles research provides a broader context for lunar exploration being planned by space agencies (e.g. ESA's E3P strategy) and emerging commercial lunar exploration initiatives (e.g. NASA CLPS programme). Understanding the inventory and source(s) of lunar volatiles is key for enabling a sustainable lunar exploration programme. Some of our work is also informing potential techniques that could be applied to extract resources such as hydrogen and oxygen from the lunar regolith. Our expertise in analytical techniques applied to organic materials in meteorites and returned samples, and in biological analogues for extraterrestrial life, have led to contributions to planetary protection studies, which inform the constantly evolving Planetary Protection protocols. The techniques developed to measure VOCs in cleanrooms, as possible products of biological activity, potentially have wider industrial application, and have led to STFC-IAA funding working with Airbus.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education
 
Description ESA E3P
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact ESA issued a number of contacts to the European Industry for conducting feasibility studies and developing a number of payload for lunar exploration. This in turn created new jobs (i.e. economic activity) in the engineering and manufacturing sector along with an increased awareness among the public about the excitement and importance of lunar exploration.
 
Description Characterization of Early Fluids and Regolith Processes on C-Class Asteroids
Amount $560,435 (USD)
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2020
 
Description Expanding Excellence in England
Amount £6,700,000 (GBP)
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Department Research England
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2019 
End 07/2022
 
Description Planetary Science at The Open University 2020-2023
Amount £2,499,259 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/T000228/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 05/2023
 
Description Collaboration University of Leicester 
Organisation University of Leicester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supply samples from our simulation experiments
Collaborator Contribution Using samples to develop new instrumentation
Impact none yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description ESA Hera Advisory Group 
Organisation European Space Agency
Department European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Green is a Mission Advisor for this European Space Agency Panel to support the development of the proposed Hera observer spacecraft to verify the kinetic impact test by the NASA DART spacecraft. He has contributed to Working Groups on Close Proximity Operations, Data Analysis Exploitation and Interpretation, and Ground-based observations. He has helped develop science requirements, review ESA documents, lobby for support for mission funding and produced a roadmap for ESA Planetary Defence 2000-2040. Green was appointed to the Hera Science Management Board in 2020.
Collaborator Contribution The advisory group led the overall science support activity to advise ESA during Phase A/B1 development prior to funding decision at ESA ministerial in late 2019. The panel comprises Science Lead (P. Michel, Nice, F), Two Mission Advisors and (initially) five Community Working Groups, with co-chairs, core members and supporters. The (now four) associated working groups have merged or are closely coordinating with the NASA DART mission teams. The Science Management Board consists of five members, responsible for oversight of all aspects of science support including input to mission operations planning, oversight of working group activities, publications policy etc.
Impact Working documents (e.g. Science Requirements Document, Publications plan etc.) have been prepared and are revised as appropriate during the various mission development phases. Hera formed focus of first UK NEA Community meeting, organised by Mission Advisors (Green and Fitzsimmons) on 26 February 2019 to coordinate the UK community to lobby for a change to UKSA policy on funding for NEA research and Hera mission support as part of the new ESA Space Safety Programme. Hera is now fully funded as part of the Space Safety Programme, following the 2019 ESA ministerial. Although the UK is supporting the SSP, it is unfortunately not funding the NEA component of this programme, which includes Hera.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hayabusa2 participation 
Organisation Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Hayabusa Joint Science Team Member, Instrument co-investigator
Collaborator Contribution access to space mission data
Impact See list of publications
Start Year 2015
 
Description LPI 
Organisation Lunar and Planetary Institute
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Visiting and collaborating with LPI staff
Collaborator Contribution SPS is a visiting scientist at LPI.
Impact Over the years, this collaboration was the source for many conference presentations and publications as well as two research grant submissions.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 
Organisation Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Insoluble and soluble organic analysis of meteorite samples
Collaborator Contribution XANES analysis of FIB sections extracted from the meteorite samples
Impact Publications in journals: [1] 'Organic Matter in Extraterrestrial Water-Bearing Salt Crystals Indicates Ceres as an Organic-Rich Body', Science Advances, Vol 4, January 2018, eaao3521 [2] 'Characterization of carbonaceous matter in xenolithic clasts from the Sharps (H3.4) meteorite: Constraints on the origin and thermal processing', Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol 196, January 2017, pp. 74-101.
Start Year 2015
 
Description NASA Goddard 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department Goddard Space Flight Center
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Organic analysis of IDPs, Itokawa particles, and meteorite samples
Collaborator Contribution Amino acid extraction and analysis of IDPs, Itokawa particles, and meteorite samples
Impact Research is still undergoing
Start Year 2017
 
Description NASA JSC 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Organic analysis of extraterrestrial samples
Collaborator Contribution This collaboration provides extraterrestrial samples and help analysing the samples with SEM, EBSD, microprobe, TEM, etc.
Impact Publications in journals, the three most recent ones being: [1] 'Organic Matter in Extraterrestrial Water-Bearing Salt Crystals Indicates Ceres as an Organic-Rich Body', Science Advances, Vol 4, January 2018, eaao3521. [2] 'The Martian subsurface as a potential window into the origin of life', Nature Geoscience, Vol 11, January 2018, pp. 21-26. [3] 'One-pot synthesis of amino acid precursors with insoluble organic matter in planetesimals with aqueous activity', Science Advances, Vol 3, March 2017, e1602093.
Start Year 2013
 
Description NASA Lucy 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Ben Rozitis: Collaborator and member of the Surface Composition Working Group (SCWG). Contributing to mission planning and implementation.
Collaborator Contribution NASA are funding the spacecraft.
Impact No specific outcomes yet.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NASA OSIRIS_REx 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Ben Rozitis: Collaborator and Deputy Lead of the Thermal Analysis Working Group (TAWG). Led the thermal analysis of infrared data collected by the mission and participated in the sample site selection campaign.
Collaborator Contribution Immediate access to spacecraft data as soon as it is acquired, and access to NASA computing hardware.
Impact Scientific Publications: 17 refereed journal papers up to February 2021: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2014.02.020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2015.04.011 https://doi.org/10.2514/1.G002566 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0721-3 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0722-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0731-1 https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aay3544 https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JE006323 https://doi.org/10.1029/2019je006363 https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JE006284 https://doi.org/10.1029/2019je006229 https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc3350 https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc3699 https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abd3649 https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abc3522 https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abc3660 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114142
Start Year 2013
 
Description Natural History Museum 
Organisation Natural History Museum
Department Department of Mineralogy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Co-supervised PhD students funded by the Natural History Museum.
Collaborator Contribution Co-supervision of PhD students based at the Open University.
Impact Publications: (1) J.J. Barnes, R. Tartese, M. Anand, F. McCubbin, I.A. Franchi, N.A. Starkey, S.S. Russell (2014). The origin of water in the primitive Moon as revealed by the lunar highlands samples, EPSL, 390, 244-252. (2) Barnes, J.J., Franchi, I.A., Anand, M., Tartèse, R., Starkey, N.A., Koike, M., Sano, Y. & Russell, S.S. (2013), Accurate and precise measurements of the D/H ratio and hydroxyl content in lunar apatites using NanoSIMS, Chemical Geology 337-338, 48-55. (3) Hallis, L.J., Anand, M., Greenwood, R.C., Miller, M.F., Franchi, I.A., Russell, S.S. (2010) The oxygen isotope composition, petrology and geochemistry of mare basalts: Evidence for large-scale compositional variation in the lunar mantle, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 74, 6885-6899. (4) Joy, K.H., Crawford, I.A., Anand., M., Greenwood, R.C., Franchi, I.A., Russell, S.S., 2008. The Petrology and Geochemistry of Miller Range 05035: A New Lunar Gabbroic Meteorite, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 72, 3822-3844. (5) Anand., M., Russell, S.S., Blackhurst, R.L. and Grady, M.M., 2006. Searching for signatures of life on Mars: An Fe isotope perspective, Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B, v. 361, (1474) 1715-1720.
 
Description OU-New Mexico partnership 
Organisation University of New Mexico
Department Institute of Meteoritics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We collaborated with colleagues at the University of New Mexico for carrying out analytical measurements on a suite of lunar samples.
Collaborator Contribution Our collaborator provided the necessary lunar samples for analysis and participated in data interpretation and manuscript writing.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in two peer-reviewed publications and several conference abstracts as listed below: 1) Tartèse, R., Anand, M., McCubbin, F., Elardo. S.M., Shearer, C.K., Franchi, I.A. (2014), Apatites in lunar KREEP basalts: The missing link to understanding the H isotope systematics of the Moon. Geology, In Press. 2) J.J. Barnes, R. Tartese, M. Anand, F. McCubbin, I.A. Franchi, N.A. Starkey, S.S. Russell (2014). The origin of water in the primitive Moon as revealed by the lunar highlands samples, EPSL, 390, 244-252. 3) F. M. McCubbin, K. E. Vander Kaaden, R. Tartèse, E. S. Whitson, M. Anand, I. A. Franchi, S. Mikhail, G. Ustunisik, E. H. Hauri, J. Wang, and J. W. Boyce (2014) APATITE-MELT PARTITIONING IN BASALTIC MAGMAS: THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCHANGE EQUILIBRIA AND THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF THE OH COMPONENT IN HALOGEN-RICH APATITE. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Abs# 2741. 4) R. Tartèse, J. J. Barnes, M. Anand, F. M. McCubbin, N. A. Starkey, I. A. Franchi, S. M. Elardo, C. K. Shearer (2014) WATER CONTENT AND HYDROGEN ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION OF APATITE IN KREEP AND HIGH-AL MARE BASALTS: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON WATER IN THE MOON. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Abs# 1999. 5) R. Tartèse, M. Anand, F. M. McCubbin, A. R. Santos and T. Delhaye (2014) ZIRCONS IN NORTHWEST AFRICA 7034: RECORDERS OF CRUSTAL EVOLUTION ON MARS. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Abs# 2020. 6)
Start Year 2013
 
Description OU-University of Hawaii partnership 
Organisation University of Hawaii
Department Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration involved analysis of selected lunar samples using analytical instrumentation and techniques developed at the Open University.
Collaborator Contribution Our collaborators provided the lunar samples and participated in data collection and interpretation.
Impact 1) K.L. Robinson, J.J. Barnes, R. Tartèse, K. Nagashima, L.J. Hallis, I.A. Franchi , M. Anand, and G.J. Taylor (2014) PRIMITIVE LUNAR WATER IN EVOLVED ROCKS? Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Abs# 1607. 2) K. L. Robinson, J. J. Barnes, R. Tartèse, L. J. Hallis, I. A. Franchi , M. Anand and G. J. Taylor (2014) APATITE IN ALLAN HILLS 81005 AND THE ORIGIN OF WATER IN THE LUNAR MAGMA OCEAN. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Abs# 2413.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Prospect Science Team 
Organisation European Space Agency
Department European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am a member of ESA Prospect Science Team. In addition, I also lead the 'Volatiles investigations' aspect of the Prospect Science Team. My role is to review the science requirements that need to be met by ProSPA payload on Luna 27 mission which is a joint project between ESA and ROSCOSMOS. We also provide input in terms of our analytical expertise in measuring chemical and isotopic composition of volatiles in lunar samples or simulates that are of direct relevance to Prospect activities.
Collaborator Contribution ESA has brought together a team of lunar experts from across Europe under the umbrella of 'Prospect Science Team' which has facilitated greater interactions among science team members for the benefit of European science. Several collaborative projects are being initiated as a result of Prospect Science Team activities. New funding avenues are being explored for collaborative research and junior members of the team are given opportunities for developing new skills through research visits at collaborators' lab.
Impact No outputs have yet emerged.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Prospect User Group 
Organisation European Space Agency
Department European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution As a member of the ESA's PROSPECT User Group, I have contributed towards defining science requirements as well as the preparation and verification of standards against which the performance of the ProSPA laboratory would be evaulated.
Collaborator Contribution ESA organised two PROSPECT User Group meetings where we learnt about the status of the PROSPECT package for Luna 27. It also allowed us to interact with our Russian colleagues who are in charge of other instruments on Luna 27 and provided us with a more complete picture of mission timelines and science objectives.
Impact This collaboration resulted in two conference abstracts that were presented at the European Lunar Symposium in Toulouse in May 2018 and at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Research collaboration with Institute De Biology 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Samples have been supplied the named institute and we are offering intellectual input into the interoperation of their analysis
Collaborator Contribution They are carrying out further analysis e.g. bioinformatics on our environmental samples- added output. The STFC funded PDRA has visited the group and has been taught new techniques.
Impact A paper is under review at present.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Rosetta GIADA 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contributed to early design and proposal of instrument for ESA flight on Rosetta when at original PI institute. Subsequently, GIADA co-investigator. Contributed to data analysis and interpretation with particular emphasis on clustering and grain fragmentation.
Collaborator Contribution Large consortium of scientists at many international institutes that are or have contributed to the GIADA instrument: design,construction, testing and calibration, operations, data analysis and interpretation. Naples/Rome are PI institutes, MPS is key science collaborator institute.
Impact Large number of scientific publications (associated with appropriate awards that provided support).
 
Description Rosetta GIADA 
Organisation National Institute for Astrophysics
Department Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology (IAPS)
Country Italy 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Contributed to early design and proposal of instrument for ESA flight on Rosetta when at original PI institute. Subsequently, GIADA co-investigator. Contributed to data analysis and interpretation with particular emphasis on clustering and grain fragmentation.
Collaborator Contribution Large consortium of scientists at many international institutes that are or have contributed to the GIADA instrument: design,construction, testing and calibration, operations, data analysis and interpretation. Naples/Rome are PI institutes, MPS is key science collaborator institute.
Impact Large number of scientific publications (associated with appropriate awards that provided support).
 
Description Rosetta GIADA 
Organisation Parthenope University of Naples
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contributed to early design and proposal of instrument for ESA flight on Rosetta when at original PI institute. Subsequently, GIADA co-investigator. Contributed to data analysis and interpretation with particular emphasis on clustering and grain fragmentation.
Collaborator Contribution Large consortium of scientists at many international institutes that are or have contributed to the GIADA instrument: design,construction, testing and calibration, operations, data analysis and interpretation. Naples/Rome are PI institutes, MPS is key science collaborator institute.
Impact Large number of scientific publications (associated with appropriate awards that provided support).
 
Description SIU 
Organisation Southern Illinois University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Participated in PhD student supervision and research projects. Contributed to research grant submissions.
Collaborator Contribution Received the opportunity for fieldwork on the Colorado Plateau funded through a National Geographic grant to my SIU colleague, co-author on publications.
Impact Publications and conference presentations.
Start Year 2016
 
Description SwRi San Antonio 
Organisation Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I have engaged with grant writing, research data reduction, and publication writing.
Collaborator Contribution SwRI has provided laboratory facilities and expertise.
Impact Conference presentations.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Topical Team on Exploitation of Local Planetary Resources 
Organisation European Space Agency
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I led a group of leading academics and researchers active in the field of in-situ resource utilisation of planetary materials to organise workshops and provide feedback to the European Space Agency about Science that can inform and enable exploration of planetary materials on the surfaces of Earth's neighbouring planetary bodies such as the Moon and Mars.
Collaborator Contribution The team members brought critical insights and a wealth of experience to bear on the topic of in situ resource utilisation on the Moon and other similar planetary bodies relevant to human destinations in foreseeable future.
Impact Anand, M.; Crawford, I. A.; Balat-Pichelin, M.; Abanades, S.; van Westrenen, W.; Péraudeau, G.; Jaumann, R. and Seboldt, W. (2012). A brief review of chemical and mineralogical resources on the Moon and likely initial in situ resource utilization (ISRU) applications. Planetary And Space Science, 74 (1), 42-48. Crawford, I. A.; Anand, M.; Cockell, C. S.; Falcke, H.; Green, D. A.; Jaumann, R. and Wieczorek, M. A. (2012). Back to the Moon: the scientific rationale for resuming lunar surface exploration. Planetary and Space Science, 74(1) pp. 3-14. Jaumann, R.; Hiesinger, H.; Anand, M.; Crawford, I. A.; Wagner, R.; Sohl, F.; Jolliff, B. L.; Scholten, F.; Knapmeyer, M.; Hoffmann, H.; Hussmann, H.; Grott, M.; Hempel, S.; Köhler, U.; Krohn, K.; Schmitz, N.; Carpenter, J.; Wieczorek, M.; Spohn, T.; Robinson, M. S. and Oberst, J. (2012). Geology, geochemistry, and geophysics of the Moon: status of current understanding. Planetary And Space Science, 74(1) pp. 15-41.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Yokohama National University 
Organisation Yokohama National University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Organic analysis (e.g. Raman spectroscopy, NanoSIMS, amino acid analysis) of extraterrestrial material
Collaborator Contribution XANES and FTIR analyses of extraterrestrial material
Impact Publications in journals, the three most recent ones being: [1] 'Organic Matter in Extraterrestrial Water-Bearing Salt Crystals Indicates Ceres as an Organic-Rich Body', Science Advances, Vol 4, January 2018, eaao3521. [2] 'One-pot synthesis of amino acid precursors with insoluble organic matter in planetesimals with aqueous activity', Science Advances, Vol 3, March 2017, e1602093. [3] 'The search for and analysis of direct samples of early Solar System aqueous fluids', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, Vol 375, January 2017, 20150386.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Exhibition at Local Central Library 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibition "You First Saw The Light On Such And Such A Day And Now You Are On Your Back In The Dark" showcased at the "Digital adventures in Milton Keynes" event at the Milton Keynes Central Library, collaboration with artist Andy Gracie
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description International Moon Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This public event was organized mainly to engage the local community in Milton Keynes, UK with the academics and students of the School of Physical Sciences, Open University, for an evening of participation in Moon-related educational activities and learn about the latest news on lunar exploration. The participants in the event included both school-going children to university students to more mature learners.
The event was opened with a brief presentation by Mahesh Anand, who introduced the Moon to the 200+ audience. He was joined by Brian Day from SSERVI central in a live teleconference to discuss NASA's ongoing and planned lunar exploration activities.
All participants had an opportunity to get hands on with a variety of activities related to the Moon and interact with staff and students at the Open University who are actively engaged in lunar research and exploration. We concluded the event by having another teleconference, in this instance, with Aidan Cowley from ESA Astronaut Centre (EAC), Cologne, Germany, which was a particular hit with children, as they had many questions about becoming an astronaut! The other activities during the event included 3D printing to demonstrate building of the future human settlements on the Moon; Virtual Reality on the Moon; hands-on and microscope experience with meteorites, rocks and minerals; Virtual Microscope activities with Apollo rocks; observing the Moon from the George Abell Observatory; as well as watching a Google Lunar Xprize movie in an inflatable planetarium. One of the most popular activities during the evening was a drawing competition entitled, " Draw your impressions of the evening", where we had 35 budding artists taking part. Of these, artists of five most interesting drawings received a 3D printed astronaut or Saturn V rocket. Initial feedback from the participants were extremely positive and as a result we are now planning to make this an annual public engagement event in early December.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for AccuWeather 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Michael Kuhne, a reporter of AccuWeather.com
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/precursor-ingredients-for-life-and-water-discovered-in-a...
 
Description Interview for national news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Xiaochun Lin, a reporter of Xinhua News Agency Washington Bureau
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.xinhuanet.com/2018-01/11/c_1122243901.htm
 
Description Interview for national news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Phone interview conducted by reporter Nilima Marshall on a published article
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-herald/20180111/281921658445118
 
Description Interview for national news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Meghan Bartels, a reporter of Newsweek
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.newsweek.com/ancient-meteorites-crashed-earth-carried-ingredients-life-water-and-organic-...
 
Description Interview for national news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Sky News on the Sunrise programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://news.sky.com/story/building-blocks-of-life-found-on-ancient-meteorites-11202635
 
Description Interviewed by CNN 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Ashley Strickland, a reporter of CNN
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/11/world/meteorites-organic-matter-life/index.html
 
Description Living on the Moon at The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Living on the Moon exhibit at the Royal Summer Science Exhibition 2019 was an interactive experience illustrating progress in lunar science over the last 50 years since the Apollo 11 Moon landings. The exhibit illustrated the journey from Moon landing, to lunar sample science, to the current generation of Moon rovers looking for water on the Moon, providing a look forward to the next 50 years and a vision of a permanent human presence on the Moon.
Visitors to the exhibit were invited to handle lunar samples, including the UK's largest lunar meteorite (1.3kg) on loan from Graham Ensor for the exhibition as well as Apollo sample discs on loan from STFC. Visitors were able to analyse a lunar meteorite under the microscope and have access to the interactive virtual microscope. Combined together, these activities gave visitors a chance to discuss with scientists what we have learned about the Moon from the study of rock samples.
Visitors were able to find out about current planned missions to revisit the Moon to answer outstanding science questions, such as the location of water and other resources, and explore the plausibility and challenges of enabling a sustainable human presence on the Moon through utilisation of local resources. Visitors were able to see a demonstration of how 3D printing might be used to produce structures and components on the Moon using local materials. Visitors were invited to take part in a virtual reality experience of driving a rover on the Moon.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2019/summer-science-exhibition/exhibits/#all-ex...
 
Description OU Moon Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We held our second annual Moon Night event on Friday, 7 Dec 2018 to showcase our research in lunar science and exploration with the members of the public. About 200 people participated in a range of activities that included handling Moon rocks and meteorites, Virtual Reality involving driving a rover on the lunar surface, taking a voyage to the Moon in an inflatable planetarium, and demonstration of 3D printing which is being investigated as a future technology for building a future lunar base.

The participants were also treated to two live music performances by world renowned trumpeter, Yazz Ahmed, who composed a piece of music (in association with Dr Mahesh Anand) which communicated the key themes of lunar science research being carried out at the OU.

The event closed with a special guest lecture by Dr Ioannis Baziotis from the Agricultural University of Athens who recounted his dream and personal journey of taking part in a NASA-funded international expedition to search for meteorites in Antarctica.

This year, we also trialled live casting of the Moon Night via Stadium and STEM's Facebook page to reach our OU students as well as the wider global community. Our Facebook live videos proved to be very popular- in total we had 20 videos spanning the whole event. We reached over 15,000 people through our web streaming of the event. All videos hve also been uploaded on the OUSTEM YouTube's page.

The next Moon Night event will take place in 2019, on Friday, 6 Dec during the 50th anniversary year celebrations for the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description OU Moon Night 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We held our third annual Moon Night event on Friday, 6 Dec 2019 to share our research in lunar science and exploration with primary and secondary school pupils from Milton Keynes and several members of the public. About 200 people participated in a range of activities that included handling Moon rocks and meteorites, Virtual Reality involving walking on the Moon, and demonstration of 3D printing which is being investigated as a future technology for building a future lunar base.

The event closed with a special guest lecture by Dr Sarah Rugheimer from the University of Oxford who received the Barrie Jones Astrobiology Lecture Award.

The even twas also live cast via Facebook to reach our OU students as well as the wider global community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description OUGS president and symposium organizer 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I organized the OUGS symposium, a gathering of over 100 members of a student society interested in geology and related topics. THe symposium organized under my leadership features 'space' heavily through the work I do on the grant this is linked to.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://ougs.org/society-events/19/ougs-47th-annual-symposium-milton-keynes/
 
Description Online International Astrobiology Course 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact An online astrobiology course produced with Amity (India), NASA, The Australian Centre of Astrobiology. It was a 6 week online course delivered during the pandemic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Organized workshop - The study of organic matter in extraterrestrial materials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Organized workshop "The study of organic matter in extraterrestrial materials" at the University of Glasgow
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press release produced by a collaborator - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - on a recent research publication
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2018/01/10/organic-meteorites/
 
Description Public lecture (Northern Ireland Science Festival) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presented a lecture about the latest developments in the area of lunar exploration. The talk included findings from my scientific research on Apollo samples for measuring lunar volatiles and how these are contributing towards development of new lunar missions intended to enable an extended presence on the Moon in the near future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=151
 
Description Public lectures by SF Green 2017- 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Collated public lectures by S.F Green from 2017 relevant to Solar System small bodies studies. (Local, regional and National coverage).

2017 - June 30. "AIDA - The First Asteroid Impact Mitigation Test Mission?" Asteroid Day, Imperial College, London. Audience ~20
2017 - Dec. 8: Kent: 50 Years in Space" (with J.A.M. McDonnell and J.C. Zarnecki) Rutherford Grass Roots Lecture, University of Kent. Audience ~120.
2018 May 1: Cleveland Institute of Engineers, Founder's Lecture. "Asteroid Impact Mitigation: Why? How? When?", Princess Alexandria Auditorium, Yarm School. (~200).
2018 Sep 6: Peterborough Astronomical Society. "Comets after Rosetta". (~50).
2019 Apri 18: North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Neville Hall, Newcastle. "Asteroid Mining: Science Fiction or the Future?" (~40).
2019 April 23: Inaugural Lecture, OU Charter DAy. "Near earth Astteroids - A Matter of Life and Death?" (~100 plus ~200 on-line).
2019 Dec 8: Open University, Moon Night. "Near earth Asteroids - A Matter of Life and Death?" (~75 + on-line)


Results: Raised awareness of Solar System small body science. Audience discussion on comets, asteroids and the impact hazard.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
 
Description Radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio interview "An Ingredient For Life In Our Solar System: Salt" broadcasted on the U.S public radio show "Science Friday"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/a-dash-of-salt-to-go-with-your-solar-system/
 
Description Radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio interview "¿Vida extraterrestre? científicos aseguran que es realmente posible" broadcasted on the RCN Radio Columbia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.rcnradio.com/audios/vida-extraterrestre-cientificos-aseguran-realmente-posible/
 
Description Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact As a result of the ongoing Pandemic linked to Covid-19 outbreak the 2020 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (RSSSE) was held in a virtual setting. We were invited by the Royal Society to re-exhibit our 2019 'Living on the Moon!' exhibit through a video update under the banner 'What are they up to now' followed by an 'Ask the Space Xpert' live session which was held on Twitter and participated by 5 researchers (PhD students, postdocs and senior academic staff) from the our team along with the member of the Public Engagement Team at the Royal Society. Although no specific data about our individual contribution were collected, the following feedback were received from the Royal Society which is taken as an evidence of a positive impact our contribution made to this week long online science festival: "We've had a really busy and amazing week with Summer Science Online with over 2500 people joining the quiz on Monday and our YouTube playlists have currently seen over 50 000 people engaging with the Summer Science content. We've also seen a wider international audience take part in the programme which is great."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2020/07/ask-the-spacexperts/
 
Description STFC Astrobiology Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact We hosted a STFC funded summer school in 2020. As part of the workshop we offered lectures, hand on training regarding planning a mission, CV writing workshops and networking opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description The Naked Scientist Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview with naked Scientist team members on asteroid research linked to the Impact Hazard, which formed part of the content of a Podcast for public consumption.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.thenakedscientists.com/podcasts/astronomy-podcasts/sampling-asteroid