As our nearest neighbor, the Moon is a natural laboratory for investigating fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Earth and the solar system. With the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA returned to the moon, enabling new discoveries and bringing the moon back into the public eye.
LRO is a robotic spacecraft that set out to map the Moon's surface. After a year of exploration, the mission was extended with a unique set of science objectives. LRO observations have enabled numerous groundbreaking discoveries, creating a new picture of the Moon as a dynamic and complex body. These developments have set up a scientific framework through which to challenge and improve our understanding of processes throughout the solar system.