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Lunar and Planetary Institute

USRA's Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is a state-of-the-art research facility located near the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The LPI is a focal point for the lunar and planetary research community, and houses an extensive data collection, image-processing facility, scientific visualization facility, and a library containing more than 60,000 items.

Additionally, the LPI supports NASA and the planetary science community through the organization of workshops and conferences (including the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference), preparation of newsletters and monographs, maintenance of a regional space imagery facility, and web and meeting support for NASA's advisory community. The LPI was created in 1968 and has been operated continuously by USRA since 1969.

The science at the Lunar and Planetary Institute is focused on the formation, evolution, and current state of our solar system through analysis of data and samples obtained through NASA's long history of missions and exploration. Current major research topics include the origin and evolution of the early solar system; petrology and geochemistry of planetary materials and volatiles; planetary interiors, volcanism, and tectonism; and impact cratering.