Use of Astromaterials 3D data and how to credit 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.
NASA IMAGE USE POLICY: Please refer to NASA’s official document outlining Media Usage Guidelines: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/guidelines/index.html
Here are a few important highlights:
  • NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material (see above for credit).
  • It is unlawful to falsely claim copyright or other rights in NASA material.
  • If the NASA material is to be used for commercial purposes, including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA's endorsement of commercial goods or services.
  • The NASA insignia logo (the blue "meatball" insignia), the retired NASA logotype (the red "worm" logo) and the NASA seal may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.
  • NASA content - images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format - generally are not subject to copyright in the United States. You may use this material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.
How do I cite or credit the Astromaterials 3D Website & Explorer in general?
Please cite our work in yours! For a list of current publications to cite the authors of Astromaterials 3D, please see the full list at the bottom of this page.
How do I attribute credit for the 3D Models?
Apollo Lunar Sample Credit: NASA/These 3D reconstructed image data were produced at the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility for Astromaterials 3D in NASA’s Acquisition & Curation Office and were funded by NASA Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools Program, Proposal No.: 15-PDART15_2-0041.
Antarctic Meteorite Sample Credit: NASA/These 3D reconstructed image data were produced at the Antarctic Meteorite Sample Laboratory Facility for Astromaterials 3D in NASA’s Acquisition & Curation Office and were funded by NASA Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools Program, Proposal No.: 15-PDART15_2-0041.
How do I attribute credit for the XCT image data?
Credit: NASA/These XCT image data were produced for Astromaterials 3D in 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 refer to the Scan Parameters Document that is included with each XCT downloadable zip file to specify which XCT lab produced the scan for a particular rock.)

Acquiring the 3D Models

Can I get .obj files for the 3D models of the rocks that I see in the Astromaterials 3D Explorer?
Yes! High-resolution and low-resolution meshes are freely available to the public and are downloadable from each sample's details page. Click here to read about use of Astromaterials 3D data and how to credit or cite it.

Acquiring XCT Imagery

Can I download the XCT scans of the rocks that I see in the A3D Explorer?
Yes! Original unprocessed XCT TIFF images are freely available to the public and are downloadable from each sample's details page. Click here to read about use of Astromaterials 3D data and how to credit or cite it.
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! Plans are underway to continue adding samples from NASA's existing astromaterials collections as well as from current and future sample-return missions. 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

Graff, P. V., Willis, K. J., Miller, R., Charney, D., Blumenfeld, E. H., and Foxworth, S. (2021) Science for All: Enhancing Opportunities for Virtual Learners to Engage with NASA Science and Assets. AGU Fall Meeting 2021.

Gawronska, A. J., McLeod, C. L., Blumenfeld, E. H., Hanna, R., and Zeigler, R. A. (2021) New insights into lunar basalt flow emplacement from Apollo sample studies via X-ray computed tomography. 12th Annual Lunar and Small Bodies Graduate Forum (LunGradCon).

Gawronska, A. J., McLeod, C. L., Blumenfeld, E. H., Hanna, R., and Zeigler, R. A. (2021) New Insights into Lunar Basalt Flow Morphologies from X-Ray Computed Tomography of Apollo Basalt Samples. Tomography for Scientific Advancement, North America conference.

De Oliveira, J.H.C., Neal, C.R., and Blumenfeld, E.H. (2021) Understanding Orientation and Formation: Using XCT Data to Quantify Void Space in Lunar Samples. 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2021. View Poster

Gawronska, A. J., McLeod, C. L., Blumenfeld, E. H., Hanna, R., and Zeigler, R. A. (2021) Lunar Magmatism: New Interpretations of Apollo Basalt Petrogenesis from X-Ray Computed Tomography. 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

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. Poster: View Poster

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. View Poster

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., Beaulieu, K., Oshel, E. R., Evans, C. A., Zeigler, R. A., Liddle, D. A., Righter, K., Hanna, R. D., and Ketcham, R. A. (2017) 3D Virtual Astromaterials Samples: Combining High-Resolution Precision Photography and X-ray Computed Tomography to Create Research-Grade 3D Model of NASA's Apollo Lunar and Antarctic Meteorite Samples for Curation, Research and Education. ToScA North American Symposium 2017.

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. View Poster

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. View Poster

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.