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


Announcing the Fifth Hands-On Training in
Handling and Manipulation of Small Extraterrestrial Samples!

Training Location and Dates

Hands-On Training:  Handling and Manipulation of Small Extraterrestrial Samples is a two-and-a-half-day training session that will be held at Purdue University in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) in West Lafayette, Indiana on April 13-15, 2022.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All participants must arrive in West Lafayette the evening of April 12 and will depart the afternoon of April 15.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or citizens of any country with a current U.S.-approved travel visa are eligible. International applications are encouraged. Due to security issues, citizens of U.S. State Department Designated Countries are not eligible. Reference the Designated Country list at this website: https://www.nasa.gov/oiir/export-control/.
  • Hands-on lab training is 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 a 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 sample collections do and will consist of 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, Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx missions. Attendees will receive hands-on training in manipulation and micromanipulation of comparable small samples, learning from the experts from the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at Johnson Space Center (JSC) and Purdue University.


ARES/JSC and Purdue University, facilitated by 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 at ARES/JSC and other institutions.

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

Targeted Skills

The workshop will focus on many skills relevant to the handling, preparation, and analysis of small particles, including:

  • Small particle transfer by hand/micromanipulation
  • Embedding samples in epoxy and sulfur
  • Ultramicrotomy
  • Preparation of samples via microtomy and FIB-SEM


The application form is closed.