Francis McCubbin, Astromaterials Curator
Volume 5 No. 2 • September 2023
About the Astromaterials Newsletter:Welcome to the tenth issue of the Astromaterials Newsletter! The Astromaterials Newsletter is a bi-annual publication produced by the Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office at NASA Johnson Space Center to inform the sample science community about updates to our policies, collections, and available samples. In particular, the Astromaterials Newsletter will be our exclusive mechanism for announcing new samples or new sample opportunities available to the community across all of our collections, and we publish the Astromaterials Newsletter on the same cadence as the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter.
The primary aim of the Astromaterials Newsletter is to maximize the science returns from our existing collections through better communication and advertisement of sample availability to the scientific community. A big part of that improved communication is to provide updates to the sample analysis community about what is going on in our labs and at JSC that could impact the collections or the timing of sample allocations. Most importantly, the Astromaterials Newsletter was established to provide a fair and transparent process by which the community receives information about available samples across all our collections. As always, details about all of NASA's Astromaterials samples that are available for request can be found within each respective collection's sample catalog, which are available on our website (https://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/). Any new samples announced in this issue will also appear within the appropriate sample catalog on our website.
Astromaterials Data Archiving Announcement from the Astromaterials Data SystemThe Astromaterials Data System (Astromat) is the primary NASA-sponsored archive for laboratory analyses of returned samples (see NASA's Planetary Science Division's Information and Data Management Policy Supplement to SPD-41A). Astromat supports the extraterrestrial samples community with services that enable sharing, discovery, access, and reuse of data generated by laboratory analysis of astromaterials samples.
The Astromaterials Data Archive (ADA) curates, publishes, and preserves laboratory analytical data acquired as part of NASA's sample return missions and research projects. The ADA accepts data that describe the chemical, physical, petrological, mineralogical, and textural properties of bulk samples, mineral phases, and other components such as chondrules and presolar grains. NEWS: Astromat is currently upgrading the ADA to accommodate the entire spectrum of laboratory analytical data. Astromat will continue to inform the community about progress via the ARES Newsletter and the ExMAG community.
The Astromaterials Data Synthesis provides access to nearly 1.3 million analytical values acquired over the past 50+ years on lunar samples, meteorites, and other astromaterials samples curated at ARES. NEWS: You can now search the database by sample name via Astromat's new 'Sample Lookup' (https://www.astromat.org/sample-lookup/) to access a page with all data available for the sample and with links to external data for the sample.
Participate! ExMAG's Facilities & Informatics Subcommittee is establishing a Working Group on Astromaterials Data Management to provide feedback and advice to Astromat and support Astromat with the development of community-agreed-upon standards. If you are interested in participating, please email Pierre Haenecour (firstname.lastname@example.org). Feel free to contact the Astromat Team (email@example.com) with any other questions!
Broad updates for the Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation OfficeNew NASA Procedural Requirement NPR 7100.5 effective August 16, 2023 I am happy to report that the Curation NPR is now in effect and is officially NPR 7100.5, effective August 16, 2023. You can find a copy of the NPR here. This NPR outlines a lot of important roles and responsibilities that govern the curation of NASA Astromaterials, including the processes for accessioning new collections.
OSIRIS-REx is coming Soon We all eagerly await the landing of the OSIRIS-REx Sample return Capsule in the Utah desert in a few days on September 24th. The O-REx curation lab is ready to receive the samples, and we look forward to working closely with the OSIRIS-REx Science team and our international partners (CSA and JAXA) during preliminary examination of the samples. From these preliminary examination activities, we will put together a sample catalog that will be released in a future issue of the Astromaterials Newsletter ~6 months after the samples land. The release of the O-REx sample catalog will mark the time that investigators outside the OSIRIS-REx science team will be able to request samples for research.
Thank you for reading the Astromaterials News section of the Astromaterials Newsletter, and I wish you and your families a safe and healthy remainder of 2023 and a wonderful start to 2024.