The curation and collection of Antarctic meteorites is a U.S. funded, cooperative effort among NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Smithsonian Institution.The NSF, with decades of experience in exploring this harsh environment, provides support for field research and collection. NASA and the Smithsonian Institution, as experts in curation of lunar samples and geologic specimens, respectively, provide for the classification, storage and distribution of Antarctic meteorites.
The primary purpose of the Meteorite Working Group (MWG) is to encourage and expedite the scientific utilization of Antarctic meteorite samples.To this end, the MWG attempts to honor all sample requests for legitimate scientific investigations with appropriate samples. The MWG does not rate the relative scientific merits of legitimate scientific investigations, except as such evaluations are necessary to decide allocations for small or rare specimens for which not all requests can be honored. In making allocations, however, the MWG does attempt to strike a balance between obtaining immediate scientific results and preserving samples for future study. In considering requests for allocation of Antarctic meteorites, the MWG pays no heed to the national origin of requests, nor to the nationality, affiliations, or gender of any requester.