Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI/JSC Hosts First Hands-on Sample Training

November 22, 2016

Students and Advisors
Pictured: Keiko Nakamura-Messenger (ARES/JSC), Kim Fendrich (American Museum of Natural History), Scott Messenger (ARES/JSC), , Nicole Lunning (Smithsonian Institutions), Lindsay Keller (ARES/JSC), Christine Jilly-Rehak (University of California-Berkley), and Carolyn Crow (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). Image credit: Bill Stafford (JSC)

Four early career scientists from the U.S. participated in the first hands-on sample training, emphasizing Coordinated Microbeam Sample Analyses of Extraterrestrial Samples, on November 15–16, 2016 at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX.

The goals of these training on astromaterial sample handling are to enhance the planetary community’s understanding, use, and access to the planetary materials curated at JSC, and to stimulate innovative investigations and optimize science returns from the samples. The LPI/JSC will conduct future training to provide researchers with specific protocols, requirements, and best practices for handling and studying the various curated samples. 

Training in the JSC micromanipulation lab

Scott Messenger (ARES/JSC) provides hands on training in the JSC micromanipulation laboratory. Image credit: Bill Stafford (JSC)

The first training session showcased the Astromaterials and Exploration Sciences (ARES) division’s expertise in preparing and analyzing micrometer-sized samples by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron micro-probe chemical analysis (EMP), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), in preparation for detailed analyses by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), and the laser microprobe for organics. Participants received hands-on training, taught by ARES experts, in the preparation and analyses of real samples in JSC laboratories. In addition, participants received classroom training at the LPI, focusing on access to sample information via the ARES Curation website, writing successful requests for extraterrestrial samples, and an overview of sample investigator responsibilities, such as loan agreements and security requirements.

For more information, visit:

LPI/JSC Joint Working Group


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