Lunar and Planetary Institute

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


Announcing the Second Hands-on Training in Handling and Manipulation of Small Extraterrestrial Samples!

Meeting Location and Date

Hands-on Training: Handling and Manipulation of Small Extraterrestrial Samples is a two-day training session that will be held at NASA Johnson Space Center (lab training) and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (classroom training) in Houston, Texas on October 31–November 1, 2017.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All participants must arrive by 12:00 p.m. October 30 in order to obtain JSC badging that afternoon.

August 18, 2017
Application Deadline
September 1, 2017
Selection Announcement
October 30, 2017
Arrival/JSC Badging
October 31 – November 1, 2017
Day 1: NASA JSC lab training
Day 2: LPI classroom training
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or citizens of any country with a current U.S.-approved travel visa are eligible.
  • 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 with a demonstrated need.


    Many current and future extraterrestrial samples do and will consist of very small particles — less than 100 micrometers across — and these can be challenging to work with. Such samples include Earth-collected cosmic dust, returned comet and interstellar samples from Stardust; and returned asteroid samples from the Hayabusa and OSIRIS-REx missions. In this training, the attendees will receive hands-on training in manipulation and micromanipulation of comparable small samples, learning from the experts at the Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation and Astromaterials Research Offices of the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division, Johnson Space Center (JSC).


    ARES/JSC and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (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 curated at ARES include:
  • Apollo and some Luna samples of the Moon
  • Hayabusa asteroid particles
  • Cosmic dust collected in the stratosphere
  • Comet and interstellar samples returned by the Stardust mission
  • Samples of solar wind returned by the Genesis mission
  • Space-exposed hardware with micrometeorite impacts
  • Meteorites collected in Antarctica by the ANSMET expeditions



October 30 - afternoon Participants arrive in Houston and obtain one-day badges at JSC security, Bldg. 110
October 31 Day 1: Hands-on Lab Training at JSC
8:30 a.m. Convene at JSC, Bldg. 31 conference room
Morning session TBD
Noon Lunch TBD
Afternoon session TBD
Dinner Informal group dinner
November 1 Day 2: Classroom training at the LPI
8:30 a.m. Convene at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Morning session What's available? The new Astromaterials Research and 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 and proposal writing; Discussion; Evaluation
2:30 p.m. Short tour of USRA Houston building and facilities; Conclusion and departures for airports

To apply to participate in the training on Handling and Manipulation of Small Extraterrestrial Samples, please fill out the following enquiry boxes, indicate that you are not a mindless robot, and click 'Submit.'

Application Form

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