Use of Astromaterials 3D data and how to reference or cite it

Can I use Astromaterials 3D’s data for my research or project?
Yes! The data presented here is public domain and can be used by any person in any discipline. We ask that you include proper credit when publishing material and information sourced from the Astromaterials 3D Website and Explorer.
How do I attribute credit to the Astromaterials 3D Website & Explorer in general?
Reference for Website & Explorer: Acknowledgment: This research included source material from Astromaterials 3D, a project by Blumenfeld, E. H., Aebersold, J. E., Feist, B. F., Beaulieu, K. R., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A. and Righter, K. for NASA’s Acquisition & Curation Office and funded by NASA Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools Program, Proposal No.: 15-PDART15_2-0041 and Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science (ARES) Division, NASA JSC. (Note: Astromaterials 3D worked with two XCT labs to produce the XCT images. Please see the Scan Parameters Document that is included within each sample’s downloadable zip file to specify which XCT lab produced the scan for a particular rock.)
How do I attribute credit for the XCT image data?
Reference for XCT Imagery: Acknowledgment: These XCT image data were produced by Astromaterials 3D for NASA’s Acquisition & Curation Office and were funded by NASA Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools Program, Proposal No.: 15-PDART15_2-0041. (Note: Astromaterials 3D worked with two XCT labs to produce the XCT images. Please see the Scan Parameters Document that is included within each sample’s downloadable zip file to specify which XCT lab produced the scan for a particular rock.)
Where can I find a list of Astromaterials 3D’s publications and abstracts?
We had many research publications! Please see the full list at the bottom of this page.

Acquiring the 3D Models

Can I get .obj or .stl files for the 3D models of the rocks that I see in the Astromaterials 3D Explorer?
Not yet! The high-resolution meshes generated as part of this effort will become freely available to the public and downloadable from Astromaterials 3D coming in our final project roll-out by Early Summer 2021.

Acquiring XCT Imagery

Can I download the XCT scans of the rocks that I see in the A3D Explorer?
Yes! Open the sample in the Astromaterials 3D Explorer web application. Under the “sample details” tab on the right navigation you will find a link that will allow you to download the original unprocessed XCT TIFF images for the XY orientation. These can be used with various volumetric data visualization packages for independent scientific research.
What 3D visualization and analysis software should I use to analyze the downloadable XCT data?
Astromaterials 3D uses Avizo and VGStudio Max, which both require a fee-based license. Another software, called Dragonfly has a trial version and a non-commercial license for researchers and academics.

Upcoming Public Release of Additional Rocks

Will you be adding more lunar and meteorite samples to the Astromaterials 3D website and Explorer?
Yes! Astromaterials 3D has about 60 samples in total that are part of this project so far. Phase 2 public release will include 10 additional rocks by around Early Spring 2021. Phase 3 public release will include the remaining rocks by Early Summer 2021. The hope is to continue adding samples from the existing collections ongoing. Samples from future sample-return missions may also be added to the project eventually, dependent on many factors. Stay tuned!

Sample Research Requests

How do I request a lunar or meteorite subsample for research and analysis and what are the restrictions and the approval process?
NASA provides samples for both destructive and non-destructive analysis in pursuit of new scientific knowledge. Requests are considered though a formal proposal process that is different for each collection. Please visit the Apollo Lunar Sample Request and Antarctic Meteorite Sample Request to learn more. Please direct all inquiries regarding sample requests to the Curation contacts listed for each collection.

Astromaterials 3D Website & Explorer Troubleshooting

Should the Astromaterials 3D Explorer work on my device?
The Astromaterials 3D Explorer web application uses the latest browser technologies to stream the massive amount of data for each rock based on user interaction. It works best using the latest webkit browsers (Chrome or Firefox), a modern computer, and a fast internet connection. The Explorer web application does not support smart phones and most tablet devices, but the rest of the Astromaterials 3D website will!
Sometimes the 3D model of the rock in the Astromaterials 3D Explorer behaves strangely. Why does this happen?
If you’re using an older computer or have a lower amount of memory available, the browser will not be able to keep all of the large required assets in memory and you may see an incomplete display of the rock. We suggest you try using another computer, or a different browser. Your mileage may vary.
Why is it taking a long time for the 3D models to load?
They are big! Even the reduced resolution versions that we use for viewing on the web are very high resolution compared to anything your browser is used to loading. Please be patient, it’s worth it! :)
What is the recommended system for the Astromaterials 3D Explorer?
A desktop or laptop computer less than three years old with at least 8GB of RAM and a broadband internet connection. High-end tablets may also be able to render this application.
How did you make a web browser display so much data?
It wasn’t easy! We combine several traditional techniques used in game engines to render the interior rock’s voxels in real time.
Occasionally I see small regions on the rock model that appear blurry—what is this caused by?
Physical limitations with the photographic equipment system setup in the laboratory limited the amount of sharpness—depth-of-field (DOF)—able to be captured in each image. Since the 3D model texture is derived directly from the photos, any blurred portion can be attributed to being an area without sufficient DOF coverage in the original photo set and/or the mosaicing (blending) process needed to drape those 2D Images onto the 3D model.

List of Astromaterials 3D Abstracts & Publications

Blumenfeld, E. H., Beaulieu, K. R., Thomas, A. B., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Righter, K., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2019) 3D Virtual Astromaterials Samples Collection of NASA’s Apollo Lunar and Antarctic Meteorite Samples to be an Online Database to Serve Researchers and the Public. 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019.

Beaulieu, K. R., Blumenfeld, E. H., Thomas, A. B., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Righter, K., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2019) Visualization of Fused Structure-From-Motion and Micro X-Ray Computed Tomography Data Sets for Novel 3D Virtual Astromaterials Samples Collection of NASA’s Apollo Lunar and Meteorite Samples. 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019.

Liu, Y., Eckley, S. A. and Blumenfeld, E. H. (2019) Most Shergottites Were Once Vesicular: Evidence from 3D Computed X-Ray Tomography. 82nd Annual Meeting of The Meteoritical Society 2019.

Gawronska, A. J., McLeod, C. L., Blumenfeld, E. H., Hanna, R., and Zeigler, R. A. (2019) Preliminary Analyses of Apollo 15 Sample 15085 via X-Ray Computed Tomography. 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019.

Blumenfeld, E. H., Beaulieu, K. R., Thomas, A. B. H., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Righter, K., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2018) Creating a High-Resolution 3D Virtual Astromaterials Samples Collection of NASA’s Apollo Lunar Samples and Antarctic Meteorite Collections for an Online Database to Serve Researchers and the Public. 100th AGU Fall Meeting 2018.

Thomas, A. B. H., Blumenfeld, E. H., Beaulieu, K. R., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Righter, K., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2018) Overview of the Digitization Workflow Post Image Acquisition of Apollo Lunar and Antarctic Meteorite Samples using Agisoft Photoscan for the NASA 3D Astromaterials Virtual Samples Collection. 100th AGU Fall Meeting 2018.

Blumenfeld, E. H., Evans, C. A., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Beaulieu, K., Zeigler, R. A., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2017) Research-Grade 3D Virtual Astromaterials Samples: Novel Visualization of NASA’s Apollo Lunar Samples and Antarctic Meteorite Samples to Benefit Curation, Research, and Education. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2017.

Beaulieu, K., Blumenfeld, E. H., Liddle, D. A., Oshel, E. R., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A., Righter, K., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2017) Structure-From-Motion Photogrammetry and Micro X-Ray Computed Tomography 3-D Reconstruction Data Fusion for Non-Destructive Conservation Documentation of Lunar Samples. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2017.

Blumenfeld, E. H., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A., Righter, K., Beaulieu, K., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A., Todd, N. S. (2016) An Interdisciplinary Method for the Visualization of Novel High-Resolution Precision Photography and Micro-XCT Data Sets of NASA’s Apollo Lunar Samples and Antarctic Meteorite Samples to Create Combined Research-Grade 3D Virtual Samples for the Benefit of Astromaterials Collections Conservation, Curation, Scientific Research and Education. 98th AGU Fall Meeting 2016.

Blumenfeld, E. H., Evans, C. A., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Beaulieu, K., Zeigler, R. A., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2015) Comprehensive Non-Destructive Conservation Documentation of Lunar Samples Using High-Resolution Image-Based 3D Reconstructions and X-Ray CT Data. 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2015.

Blumenfeld, E. H., Evans, C. A., Oshel, E. R., Liddle, D. A., Beaulieu, K., Zeigler, R. A., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2014) High-resolution imaged-based 3d reconstruction combined with X-Ray CT data enables comprehensive non-destructive documentation and targeted research of astromaterials. 77th Annual Meeting of The Meteoritical Society 2014.