ENComPSS - Expanding NASA's Community of Planetary Sample Scientists

cross-section of meteorites on black background

The Expanding NASA’s Community of Planetary Sample Scientists (ENComPSS) program brings together leading scientists, laboratories, and universities to support NASA’s vital and growing sample science program. The program aims to build a vibrant and engaged community of planetary sample scientists with an emphasis on curriculum development, workshops, and hands-on training in astromaterials.

Curricula and Training

Training Events

The LPI is hosting and leading training events that focus on the unique laboratory facilities and extraterrestrial samples curated by ARES.

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Curricula and Resources

The LPI is developing astromaterials curricula addressing the science of sample return missions.

Coming Soon

Visiting Scientist Program

Visiting Scientists

The LPI continues to support and mentor visitors and student interns as they conduct research in planetary and sample science at ARES and the LPI.

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LPI Summer Intern Program

Students develop a broad foundation in planetary science and understand the context in which astromaterials are studied and interpreted.

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Extraterrestrial Materials Academy (ETMA)

Embark on a transformative journey with the Extraterrestrial Materials Academy (ETMA), our agile and innovative training program designed to broaden participation in the captivating field of planetary sample science.

Coming Soon

Scanning Electron Microscope

student pointing at image derived from Scanning Electron Microscope

The LPI maintains a benchtop SEM, a Phenom XL from Nanoscience Instruments. It is intended for imaging, elemental mapping, and semi-quantitative chemical analyses of planetary samples as a precursor to detailed analyses with the dedicated instruments at ARES/JSC. The Phenom has a CeB6 electron source, which provides a tight, bright electron beam for high-resolution imaging in secondary electrons (SEI) and high contrast imaging by backscattered electrons (BEI). The Phenom carries a large-area SDD X-ray detector, which permits the rapid collection of elemental maps and low-noise EDS spectra for semi-quantitative chemical analyses.

Learn more about LPI Science Labs and Equipment.

Additional Resources

Broadening Participation


The LPI's IDEA activities and resources enable the development and expansion of a more diverse and inclusive sample science and planetary community.

Early Career Professional Development

The LPI supports the advancement of students and early-career scientists in planetary science by providing information about internships, career pathways, professional conferences, and more.

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Alcanzando Las Estrellas

The LPI's spanish-language webinar series, Reaching for the Stars, features 60-minute webinars on planetary science topics and careers.

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Sample Science Winning Haiku

From yonder and yore,
scribe, relic, and witness to
all that came before.

- Grace Beaudoin

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