NASA Astromaterials

NASA Astromaterials Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science performs the physical science research at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
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Are you watching the big game? Here’s a view showing the SuperBowl city & stadium (image center) taken by crew from the ...
02/08/2021

Are you watching the big game? Here’s a view showing the SuperBowl city & stadium (image center) taken by crew from the International Space Station! For those in Tampa, FL look up at ~7:15pm ET to Spot#TheStation! Discover viewing opportunities: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov

02/04/2021
Astromaterials3D Highlight of the Week: Apollo 14 sample 14316

The Astromaterials 3D highlight of the week, shared by our Curation team at NASA's Johnson Space Center, is Apollo 14 lunar sample 14316. The story of this lunar sample remains a bit of a mystery. It has an unusual visual appearance both in texture and color and has also not been well studied yet; in fact, the main mass has never been chemically analyzed nor has the rock been dated. Initial classification analysis of this regolith breccia found a norite clast, which is a fragment of ancient iron- and magnesium-rich rock from deeper within the Moon’s crust. Adding to this interesting clue, one thin-section reveled a striking pink spinel, a mineral thought to be produced by the interaction between these deeper originating iron- and magnesium-rich magmas with the surface originating silica- and aluminum-rich rocks. Pink spinel bearing lithologies are often associated with the Moon’s plutonic crustal formation processes—the earliest crustal layers on the Moon.

Explore more: https://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/astromaterials3d/sample-details.htm?sample=14316-0

02/03/2021
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)

Check out the latest Astronomy Picture of the Day Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) release featuring an X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) video of an Apollo 14 sample from our Astromaterials3D project. To learn more about our Astromaterials3D project, visit: https://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/astromaterials3d/

APOD: Found on the Moon: Candidate for
Oldest Known Earth Rock (2021 Feb 03)
Video Credit: NASA, Astromaterials 3D, Erika Blumenfeld et al.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210203.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0UBZh6Hf-s
Repost with active video

Explanation: Was the oldest known rock on Earth found on the Moon? Quite possibly. The story opens with the Apollo 14 lunar mission. Lunar sample 14321, a large rock found in Cone crater by astronaut Alan Shepard, when analyzed back on Earth, was found to have a fragment that was a much better match to Earth rocks than other Moon rocks. Even more surprising, that rock section has recently been dated back 4 billion years, making it older, to within measurement uncertainty, than any rock ever found on Earth. A leading hypothesis now holds that an ancient comet or asteroid impact launched Earth rocks into the Solar System, some of which fell back to the Moon, became mixed with heated lunar soil and other rocks, cooled, and re-fragmented. The video features an internal X-ray scan of 14321 showing multiple sections with markedly different chemistries. Moon rocks will continue to be studied to learn a more complete history of the Moon, the Earth, and the early Solar System. Friday marks the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 14 landing on the Moon.

https://www.nasa.gov/
https://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/astromaterials3d/
https://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/astromaterials3d/project-team.htm

Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page
http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=210203

#APOD

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
02/03/2021

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Today marks the beginning of #BlackHistoryMonth. All of February, we will be highlighting the many inspirational voices & stories of African Americans who have helped shape America’s space program. Get to know them & their invaluable contributions: https://go.nasa.gov/3oDTLkP

01/28/2021
Astromaterials 3D Highlight of the Week - Apollo 11 sample 10021

The Astromaterials 3D highlight of the week, shared by our Curation team at NASA's Johnson Space Center, is lunar sample 10021. This sample was the very 1st rock collected by Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong! If you look closely at this sample, you will see zap pits which are tiny craters formed by micrometeorites hitting the surface of the rock as it sat on the Moon’s surface! Explore more: https://go.nasa.gov/3c04W4B

Today we remember the men and women lost in the agency’s space exploration program by honoring and celebrating their liv...
01/28/2021

Today we remember the men and women lost in the agency’s space exploration program by honoring and celebrating their lives, their bravery and advancements in human spaceflight.
#NASARemembers

Apollo 1 (Jan. 27, 1967): Astronauts Roger B. Chaffee, Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Edward H. White Jr.

Challenger (Jan. 28, 1986): Astronauts Francis R. "Dick" Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair, Ellison S. Onizuka, Gregory B. Jarvis and S. Christa McAuliffe

Columbia (Feb. 1, 2003): Astronauts Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark and Ilan Ramon

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/specials/dor2021/

Where on Earth is the closest analog to ancient Mars, Gale Crater, where NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover is exploring? Accor...
01/27/2021

Where on Earth is the closest analog to ancient Mars, Gale Crater, where NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover is exploring? According to research by Mike Thorpe, former postdoc, now Mars sample return scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center and others, the answer is southwest Iceland! This team was able to draw these conclusions based on research comparing the geochemistry and mineralogy of rocks on Mars to those on Earth. Read the article in ScienceDaily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210121131947.htm or access the publication in JGR-Planets: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2020JE006530

01/27/2021
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Just 22 more days until we #CountdownToMars. Our NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover is nearing the end of its 292.5-million-mile (470.8-million-km) journey through space. Where & how it'll land on Mars to begin a mission searching for signs of ancient life: http://go.nasa.gov/3opvcIi

01/26/2021
Science in Seconds with Dr. Zurbuchen - Lunar Sample

Apollo lunar samples help inform NASA's Artemis Program's science missions and planning.

Check out this Science In Seconds clip with Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen and Apollo Curator Dr. Ryan Zeigler as they discuss the lunar sample now on display in the Oval Office.

01/25/2021
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

“It’s heart stopping.”
“It’s soul pounding.”
“It’s breathtaking.”

😍 Take in a new perspective of Earth as seen through the eyes of NASA Astronauts.

Stream today: youtu.be/DIkqs9_FK28

The Apollo 17 lunar sample on loan to the The White House is one of ~2200 Apollo lunar samples curated by our team NASA'...
01/24/2021
Astromaterials 3D

The Apollo 17 lunar sample on loan to the The White House is one of ~2200 Apollo lunar samples curated by our team NASA's Johnson Space Center. Check out our Astromaterials3D project to explore spectacular views of some of these Moon rocks as well as Antarctic Meteorites: ares.jsc.nasa.gov/astromaterials3d/

The mission of the Astromaterials 3D project is to make more accessible NASA's Apollo Lunar Sample and Antarctic Meteorite collections, and to share their wondrous cosmochemical stories through interactive, high-resolution, research-grade 3D models.

As Apollo 17 sample 76015,143 is on loan to The White House, our team at NASA's Johnson Space Center wanted to share a f...
01/22/2021

As Apollo 17 sample 76015,143 is on loan to The White House, our team at NASA's Johnson Space Center wanted to share a few details about this ~3.9 billion year old sample. This sample was collected by the last humans to set foot on the surface of the Moon….at least until NASA's Artemis Program astronauts go! Read more: go.nasa.gov/2LTUdOv

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
01/22/2021

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

ICYMI: A reminder of our NASA's Artemis Program pledge to return to the Moon now sits in the Oval Office. Learn more about the lunar sample on loan to The White House: https://go.nasa.gov/2NsvYrd

01/21/2021
Astromaterials 3D Highlight of the week - GRO 17063,0

This week’s Astromaterials3D highlight is Antarctic Meteorite GRO 17063,0, a CR2 chondrite picked up in Grosvenor Mtns. CR meteorites contain the oldest known material in our solar system – material that formed before our solar system even existed! Explore more: go.nasa.gov/3avof5h

Building on previous experiments demonstrating that sample preparation and DNA sequencing could be performed on the Inte...
01/19/2021

Building on previous experiments demonstrating that sample preparation and DNA sequencing could be performed on the International Space Station (ISS), a team of scientists at the NASA's Johnson Space Center, University of California at Santa Cruz, and Oxford Nanopore Technologies developed and flight-tested a swab-to-sequencer protocol to enable microbial identification in near real-time. Typically, microbial monitoring on the ISS is achieved by culturing microbes isolated from various locations, and then returning the culture samples to Earth for identification. In this new work, astronauts were able to swab surfaces on the ISS, remove cells from those swabs, and amplify marker genes that were then sequenced in-flight to enable genus- and in many cases, species-level identifications. This study was published in the journal Genes: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/12/1/106

For further reading, please see the previous publications:
Burton et al. Genes (2020) https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/11/1/76
Castro-Wallace et al. Scientific Reports (2017) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18364-0

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
01/18/2021

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we honor his legacy with this stunning image of Atlanta, #MLK's birthplace, alight amidst the dark of night.

01/14/2021
Astromaterials3D Sample Highlight - GRO 17049,0

This week’s Astromaterials3D highlight is Antarctic Meteorite GRO 17049,0. This sample is classified as a polymict eucrite. These types of samples originate from asteroid Vesta & preserve the geologic processes that formed Vesta’s crustal layers. Explore more: go.nasa.gov/38cXL5w

Today marks an exciting milestone for Mars Curiosity - 3000 sols, Martian days, exploring the Red Planet! Team members h...
01/13/2021
NASA’s Curiosity Rover Reaches Its 3,000th Day on Mars

Today marks an exciting milestone for Mars Curiosity - 3000 sols, Martian days, exploring the Red Planet! Team members here at NASA's Johnson Space Center & around the world are celebrating the many discoveries from the mission & look forward to many more! Read more: go.nasa.gov/3i5xuL0

As the rover has continued to ascend Mount Sharp, it’s found distinctive benchlike rock formations.

Check out the latest “This week at NASA” video sharing stories including an update on the Green Run hot fire test for NA...
01/10/2021
An Update on the Green Run Hot Fire Test for Artemis I on This Week @NASA – January 8, 2021

Check out the latest “This week at NASA” video sharing stories including an update on the Green Run hot fire test for NASA's Artemis Program, the Cygnus cargo spacecraft leaves the International Space Station, innovative ideas for exploring unexplored areas of the Moon & more: https://youtu.be/aDhvP6qEvVM

An update on the Green Run hot fire test for Artemis I, a commercial cargo spacecraft leaves the space station, and innovative ideas for exploring unexplored...

An astronaut took this photo of Earth while looking toward NASA's next goal for human exploration: a return to the Moon....
01/08/2021

An astronaut took this photo of Earth while looking toward NASA's next goal for human exploration: a return to the Moon. As NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration prepares for Artemis missions, we are also celebrating 20 years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station. Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/39ciirn

01/07/2021
Astromaterials 3D Sample Highlight (Apollo 17 sample 79115,0)

Today’s Astromaterials 3D sample highlight is Apollo 17 sample 79115,0, classified as a regolith breccia, which means it is made up of lunar soil & fragments of other rocks. Orange glass beads, volcanic in nature, were also discovered inside this sample. #3DThursday Explore more: go.nasa.gov/34jvNDX

01/04/2021
NASA's Johnson Space Center

NASA's Johnson Space Center

The men and women who live and work on the International Space Station take thousands of photographs of our home planet every year, and we asked the folks at the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA Johnson Space Center for a few of their favorites from 2020. Here are the top 20 from 2020, and you can check out the images for yourself at the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth: https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/

It’s the dawn of a new day and a new year.  Our team at NASA's Johnson Space Center hopes these stunning sunrise views t...
01/01/2021

It’s the dawn of a new day and a new year. Our team at NASA's Johnson Space Center hopes these stunning sunrise views taken by crew on the International Space Station bring joy and inspiration to you as we move into 2021. We wish you all a healthy and Happy New Year!

12/31/2020
Astromaterials 3D Sample 14321

Today’s #3DThursday Astromaterials 3D sample highlight is Apollo 14 sample 14321. This is one of the most researched lunar samples in the collection & believed to be ejecta from the Imbrium impact which formed the largest crater on the Moon’s Earth-facing surface. Explore more: go.nasa.gov/3adfvAj

12/29/2020
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

2020 has been packed with science aboard Earth’s orbiting laboratory. Look back at what it was like to conduct research aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit this year: youtu.be/dYINlVcCV8w

Christmas Island!  This mosaic of crew photos taken from International Space Station captures Kiritimati Island. Captain...
12/26/2020
Kiritimati, Kiribati (Christmas Island)

Christmas Island! This mosaic of crew photos taken from International Space Station captures Kiritimati Island. Captain Cook named this atoll Christmas Island when he arrived on Christmas Eve in 1777. MerryChristmas! Read more: go.nasa.gov/3p3GYJ6

Pronounced “Ki-ris-mas,” Kiritimati Island has a large in-filled lagoon that gives it the largest land area (125 square miles, 321 square kilometers) of any atoll in the world. Captain Cook named the atoll Christmas Island when he arrived on Christmas Eve in 1777. Used for nuclear testin...

12/24/2020
3DThurday - LON94102,37

This week’s Astromaterials 3D sample highlight is Antarctic Meteorite LON94102,37. This 32.5 gram tiny sample has so much to offer! It is a CM2 carbonaceous chondrite that may contain some of the oldest materials in the solar system! #3DThursday Explore more: go.nasa.gov/3np5u74

12/23/2020
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

2020 was historic for NASA. We launched humans to the International Space Station from the U.S., made progress on plans to return humans to the Moon & explore Mars, & displayed perseverance & resilience in space & on Earth. Here’s a look back at highlights from the year: https://go.nasa.gov/3mGc4F4

Wonder what it’s like to search for meteorites in Antarctica? Watch this ESA - European Space Agency video sharing ESA a...
12/16/2020
An astronaut’s perspective on searching meteorites in Antarctica

Wonder what it’s like to search for meteorites in Antarctica? Watch this ESA - European Space Agency video sharing ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, our own Nicole Lunning, Cindy Evans & the amazing 2019/20 field team search for & collect 346 meteorites during their expedition: https://tinyurl.com/ybu8povn

In late 2019, ESA astronaut and geophysicist Alexander Gerst travelled to one of the harshest environments on Earth to learn more about our solar system, and...

Explore our newly released Astromaterials 3D project! This virtual library of a subset of NASA - National Aeronautics an...
12/15/2020

Explore our newly released Astromaterials 3D project! This virtual library of a subset of NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration's collections of Apollo Lunar & Antarctic Meteorite samples was created by a team at NASA's Johnson Space Center, led by our very own Erika Blumenfeld, a transdisciplinary artist and principal investigator for the project. This tool is designed to be an exploration tool for scientific research & for the public to explore! Learn more: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/rocks-from-other-worlds-now-virtually-available

12/12/2020
Weather Geeks

Listen to the Weather Geeks podcast and hear from Juliane Gross, our Deputy Apollo Curator NASA's Johnson Space Center and Rutgers Univ. professor, as she shares her STEM career path, her research & her experience searching for meteorites in Antarctica! https://weloveweather.tv/episode-143/

"What is it that we can learn from what's happening in Antarctica?"

Our episode guest Dr. Juliane Gross made an appearance on Weather Underground tonight to talk about her experience in the world's largest frozen desert!

After the successful return & recovery of the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Hayabusa2 Sample Return Capsule ...
12/10/2020

After the successful return & recovery of the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Hayabusa2 Sample Return Capsule (SRC) with samples from asteroid Ryugu, the SRC is now at the Extraterrestrial Sample Curation Center established on the JAXA Sagamihara Campus in Japan. Learn more about this mission: http://www.hayabusa2.jaxa.jp/en/

12/09/2020
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

It is part of the human spirit to explore.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to our Artemis team — the initial team of NASA Astronauts who will help pave the way for our next human missions on and around the Moon: youtu.be/BC5khqpKovU

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