ASU News

ASU alum to discuss discoveries on the moon

November 19, 2012

Paul Spudis, senior staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, will give two talks on discovering lunar volatiles and developing a sustainable space program.

The lectures, titled “By the Light of a Watery Moon: New Discoveries about Lunar Volatiles” and “Develop Cislunar Space to Create a Sustainable Space Program,” will take place Nov. 29 on the Tempe campus. Download Full Image

Spudis will talk about water on the moon at 3 p.m., in the Moeur Building Auditorium. His other lecture is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., in the Marston Exploration Theatre in ISTB4.

His first talk discusses how recent discoveries on the moon are changing scientists’ understanding of the moon’s history and processes that helped shape it.

“One of the biggest surprises of recent exploration is that water and other volatile substances are present on the moon in greater quantities than had been previously thought,” Spudis said.

In the evening, Spudis will discuss the importance of continuing the civil space program and ways to make it financially sustainable.

“By going to the moon to establish a permanent presence to extract useable resources, we create a transportation system that is reusable, extensible, maintainable and thus affordable – a ‘transcontinental railroad’ in space,” he said.

Spudis is an ASU alum. His research focuses on how the deposits and environment of the moon’s poles can be used as potential sites for future exploration and use.

For more information on the lecture topics, visit to

Story written by Kristen Hwang

Associate Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications