The NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) is in the process of expanding to include other destinations beyond the Moon, stemming from NASA’s Flexible Path strategy for human exploration. The newly constituted institute will be an innovative, virtual research organization that leverages knowledge and expertise from the science and human exploration communities to support NASA’s goals in lunar and planetary science and human exploration of the solar system. This institute is based on the premise that exploration and science are fundamentally intertwined: exploration enables science, and science enables exploration. The Institute will catalyze collaborative research that fosters cross-disciplinary partnerships within, and between, the science and exploration communities.

The new Institute’s scope will include science and exploration research efforts focusing on solar system destinations for human exploration. The solar system objects that the Institute will initially focus on are the Moon, Near Earth Objects, Phobos and Deimos. These destinations are the focus of an upcoming Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) to be issued shortly by NASA. Additionally, heliophysics and astrophysics, uniquely enabled through observations from these objects, will be part of the new Institute

Community naming request

NASA is seeking input from the broad community for a name for the new Institute, reflective of its broader scope. The name (or acronym, if appropriate) should be brief, easily recognizable and include NASA as part of the name. The name should not have a trademark or copyright. Additionally, it should not have any significant similarity in spelling or sound to an existing product or organization name, such that it would cause confusion.

The final decision for the name for the expanded Institute will be made jointly by the Associate Administrators of both the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD). Inputs will be accepted through November 9, 2012, per the schedule below. Interested community members are directed to submit their proposed name for the new Institute below.

For an indication of the type of science and exploration research being solicited by the new institute, please read the Community Announcement.

It should be noted that the NLSI will continue to be the formal name of the Institute through the period of performance of the current NLSI teams. Once teams are chosen for the new Institute, the new name chosen through this re-naming process will be adopted.


Suggestions for the new name of the NASA Lunar Science Institute must be submitted through this online site. All suggestions must be submitted by midnight PST November 9, 2012.

Based in part upon NASA regulations in NMI 7620.1F, the rules below should be adhered to in suggesting names. The rules are as follow:

  1. The Institute name must be simple and easily pronounced.
  2. The Institute does not have to be named after a person. However, if a person’s name is proposed, that person must be deceased, in accordance with long-standing practice.
  3. The Institute cannot use a name already adopted by any previous, present, or future flight missions (domestic or international).
  4. The Institute name cannot include terms reserved for ongoing NASA flight programs (e.g., Explorer, Discovery, Navigator).

Submit your proposed name:


2012 Oct. 22 Input request opens through online web entry
2012 Nov. 9 Input request closes at midnight PST

Announcement of the new Institute name is anticipated in early 2013

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