Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI/JSC Joint Working Group
Sample Handling Training Opportunities: First Training Session


Announcing the First Hands-on Training in Coordinated Microbeam Analyses of Extraterrestrial Samples!

A two-day training session will be held at NASA Johnson Space Center (lab training) and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (classroom training) in Houston, Texas on November 15-16, 2016.

October 7, 2016
Application Deadline
October 12, 2016
Selection Announcement
November 14, 2016
Arrival/JSC Badging
November 15-16, 2016
Day 1: NASA JSC lab training
Day 2: LPI classroom training


  • Must be U.S. citizen or permanent (green-card) resident to participate in lab training at NASA Johnson Space Center.
  • Hands-on lab training limited to 4-6 participants to ensure personalized attention in a small group setting.
  • Priority consideration will be given to candidates with demonstrated need and strong likelihood of applying new knowledge and skills.
  • Candidates must use the online application form to apply.
  • Travel support may be available for early-career researchers.


    Coordinated Microbeam Analyses involves sample selection, preparation and analyses so as to obtain multiple distinct types of data on the same small material or grain. For instance, on a single grain (as from the Hayabusa asteroid return), one can determine: its morphology, its bulk chemical composition and chemical zoning, oxidation states of its elements, its crystal structure and variations (e.g., domains or amorphous rims), its trace element content, its ratios of stable or radiogenic isotopes, and/or the molecular characteristics of its organic matter.


    Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science (ARES)/JSC and the LPI will share this expertise with the Planetary Science community via these training sessions to stimulate innovative investigations of the invaluable collections of extraterrestrial materials curated by ARES/JSC.

    Collections include:
  • Apollo and some Luna samples of the moon
  • Hayabusa asteroid particles
  • Cosmic dust collected in the stratosphere
  • Stardust comet and interstellar samples
  • Genesis samples of solar wind
  • Space hardware with micrometeorite impacts
  • Meteorites collected in Antarctica by the ANSMET expeditions



November 14 - Afternoon Participants arrive in Houston and obtain one-day badges at JSC security, Bldg. 110
November 15 Day 1: Hands-on lab training at JSC
8:30 AM Convene at JSC, Bldg. 31 Conference Room
Morning Session Scanning Electron Microscopy & Electron Microprobe: Sample Preparation and Analyses
Noon Lunch TBD
Afternoon Session Focused Ion-Beam Milling & Microtomy for Sample Preparation; Transmission Electron Microscopy; Preparation for further analyses: SIMS, Laser Desorption, Etc.
Dinner Informal Group Dinner
November 16 Day 2: Classroom training at the LPI
8:30 AM Convene at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Morning Session What's Available? The new Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science Curation Website; Writing a Successful Request for Sample; Security for NASA-Curated Extraterrestrial Samples
Noon Lunch TBD
Afternoon Session Assisted Practicum in Sample Selection & Proposal Writing; Discussion; Evaluation
2:30 PM Short tour of USRA Houston building and facilities; Conclusion and departures for airports

To apply to participate in the training on Coordinated Microbeam Sample Analyses, please fill out the following enquiry boxes, indicate that you are not a mindless robot, and click 'Submit.'

The application form is closed.

Connect With Us!
LPI Email Newsletters