Probing our nearest Celestial Neighbor

APL's lunar experts study everything from how craters form to how volatile molecules such as hydrogen are distributed around the Moon. They study the chemical composition, weathering, geology and volcanic history of the Moon and help to lead several instruments on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) – including cameras that have imaged the Moon in unprecedented detail, and the Mini-RF instruments that use radar to provide critical information about volatile molecules on the lunar surface. APL also operates the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC), which connects experts from academia, industry and government to shape the technologies and systems needed to explore the Moon in new ways.


APL has designed, built and operated more than 70 innovative spacecraft over its six decades of spaceflight experience. Click below to learn about some of the missions that made revolutionary discoveries, and spacecraft that will push the boundaries of exploration and investigate outstanding scientific mysteries.


Scientists and engineers at APL have designed, built and operated more than 300 novel space instruments and methods to conduct cutting-edge research and make groundbreaking discoveries. Click below to learn about some of these instruments and their role in shaping our understanding of space and the solar system.


While APL may be known for engaging is space-firsts and building first-of-its-kind spacecraft that deflect asteroids or touch the sun, it also has a deep knowledge base of science and engineering experts who provide critical contributions to critical challenges. Through initiatives like Planetary Defense, Heliophysics and Space Weather, and Cislunar Operations, Space@APL is able to deliver game-changning impacts for civil and national security.


Go inside APL’s space missions and research, and check out the latest news, features and discoveries from the teams that are probing mysteries from the Sun to the edge of the solar system and beyond.