The FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) team is focused on a science and exploration field-based research program aimed at generating strategic knowledge in preparation for the human and robotic exploration of the Moon, near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and Phobos & Deimos. We infuse our science program with leading edge exploration concepts since “science enables exploration and exploration enables science.”
The primary research objectives of our Science and Exploration programs are as follows:
To accomplish these objectives, we conduct an integrated research program focused on scientifically-driven field exploration. Our research is accomplished through a sequenced field program at two strategically chosen field sites. Fieldwork will be conducted at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho and at the West Clearwater Lake Impact Structure in northern Canada. These sites have been chosen to address scientific questions pertaining to volcanism and impact science, respectively, as geologic analogs to the SSERVI Target Bodies.
These terrestrial volcanic and impact records remain invaluable for our understanding of these processes throughout our Solar System, since these are our primary source of first hand knowledge on volcanic landform formation and modification as well as the three-dimensional structural and lithological character of impact craters. Impact cratering, for example, is the dominant geological process on the Moon, asteroids, and moons of Mars.
FINESSE is funded by a grant from NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) and gratefully acknowledges this institute for its on-going support. The FINESSE team would also like to thank the Idaho Space Grant Consortium, the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium, the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, the University of Western Ontario, the Canadian Space Agency, the National Park Service, and Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve for their continued collaboration and support.