Francis McCubbin, Astromaterials Curator
Volume 2 No. 1 • February 2020
Welcome to the third issue of the Astromaterials Newsletter! The Astromaterials Newsletter is a bi-annual publication produced by the Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office at NASA Johnson Space Center to inform the sample science community about updates to our policies, collections, and available samples. In particular, the Astromaterials Newsletter will be our exclusive mechanism for announcing new samples or new sample opportunities available to the community across all of our collections, and we publish the Astromaterials Newsletter on the same cadence as the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter.
The primary aim of the Astromaterials Newsletter is to maximize the science returns from our exiting collections through better communication and advertisement of sample availability to the scientific community. A big part of that improved communication is to provide updates to the sample analysis community about what is going on in our labs and at JSC that could impact the collections or the timing of sample allocations. Most importantly, the Astromaterials Newsletter was established to provide a fair and transparent process by which the community receives information about available samples across all our collections.
Sample highlights in this issueWe have started using X-ray computed tomography to locate clasts within the interiors of large lunar breccias, and we announce the availability of several of these clasts in this issue. Additionally, we have a new catalog release (Catalog 24) for our Cosmic Dust Collections. Moreover, we have accessioned several new dust collections that will become available in subsequent issues of the Astromaterials Newsletter. We have a newly available large Stardust track from cell C2014 (Track #227) that is announced in this issue as well. Finally, in this issue we announce 391 new meteorites in the Antarctic Meteorite Collection.
Broad updates for the Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation OfficeConstruction of the curation labs for OSIRIS-REx and for NASA's portion of the samples from JAXA's Hayabusa2 mission continues, and construction should be completed later this summer. Although the construction has impacted some of the work in our curation labs, we have not yet had to stop allocations for any of our collections. We continue to monitor the status of our collections and how their hosting labs are impacted by construction, and we will not conduct any activities in the labs if it would pose a risk to the integrity of the samples. Please bear with us during this time in the event that sample allocations are slower than normal.
We have begun the preliminary examination of core sample 73002 as part of the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program, which selected nine teams of scientists last year to study a subset of the unopened Apollo samples. We will continue to provide updates on this activity in forthcoming issues of the Astromaterials Newsletter. Moreover, it has not yet been determined when samples solicited for study by the ANGSA Program will be available for study by the wider community; but when they are made available, they will be announced in a future issue of the Astromaterials Newsletter, so stay tuned!
Thank you for reading the Astromaterials News section of the Astromaterials Newsletter, and I look forward to sharing more about our ever-expanding collections in subsequent issues.