Breadcrumbs Home ResearchAbout ResearchDr. Michael E. Zolensky

Michael E. Zolensky, Stardust, Cosmic Dust, Hayabusa & Space Hardware Curator


Area of Research/Engineering

Stardust, Hayabusa, Cosmic Dust, IDPs

Contact Information


Wk: 281-483-5128

Fax: 281-483-5347


Ph.D. Geochemistry and Mineralogy, Pennsylvania State University, 1983

B.S. Geology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1977

Research/Engineering Interests

Dr. Zolensky is on the Hayabusa Preliminary Sample Analysis team, which is developing the next generation of astromaterial sample handling and analysis protocols.

He has led or participated in successful meteorite recovery expeditions on four continents and developed techniques for characterization of meteoroid and space debris impact features on spacecraft. Dr. Zolensky has also led the effort to characterize the impact record of the LDEF satellite and developed new techniques for the analysis of microparticles. Characterization of the chemical weathering record of asteroids, and primitive mineralogy of comets. He is currently leading efforts to locate and characterize aqueous fluid inclusions in meteorites.

Selected Publications

Ebihara M. and 21 coauthors including M. Zolensky "Extraterrestrial origin of Hayabusa-returning samples; An evidence from neutron activation analysis of a single particle." Science, in press.

Hanner M, Zolensky M. (2010) "The mineralogy of comets." Astromineralogy, T. Henning, Ed., Springer Publishing Company, Germany, p. 203-232.

Zolensky M. and 24 co-authors, (2010) "Mineralogy and petrography of the Almahata Sitta ureilite." MAPS 45, 1618-1637.

Mikouchi T., Zolensky M., Ohnishi I., Suzuki T., Takeda H., Jenniskens P., Shaddad M. (2010) "Electron microscopy of pyroxenes in the Almahata Sitta ureilite." MAPS 45, 1812-1820.

Kebukawa Y., Nakashima S., Zolensky M. (2010) "Kinetics of organic matter degradation in the Murchison meteorite for the evaluation of parent body temperature history." MAPS 45, 99-113.