The Astromaterials 3D project and image data were produced at NASA's Acquisition & Curation Office and funded by NASA Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools Program, Proposal No.: 15-PDART15_2-0041 and Advanced Curation, Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science (ARES) Division, NASA Johnson Space Center.
Creator, Science-Principal Investigator and Project Lead; Co-developed photographic methodology; Co-designed rotation stage and custom equipment; Produced the high-resolution precision photography (HRPP) of the rocks; HRPP & X-ray computed tomography (XCT) image processing; Project data archiving; Website development and design support; Author of "Every rock has a story" essays.
"I initiated this project in 2013 with a simple inquiry: Might it be possible to hold a rock in one’s hand that told the story of the whole cosmos? I like to think of rocks as scrolls of knowledge, passed down through the cosmic, planetary and geologic ages, that tell the story of primordial formation. Through this unprecedented interdisciplinary collaboration that bridges art and science, my hope is to make these encyclopedic rocks accessible to curious minds across all disciplines and ages. Astromaterials 3D is as much a rigorous research-oriented library as it is a public artwork, meant to deepen our sense of wonder and knowledge of our solar system through a virtual holding of these rare and remarkable rocks in our hands."
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Produced the 3D models; Developed scaling methodology for accurate fusion of structure-from-motion (SFM) and X-ray computed tomography (XCT) imagery; Project data archiving.
"Working on a project endeavoring to digitally model extraterrestrial samples as accurately as possible for public dissemination is a true realization of my professional passion for reality capture."
"Finding a way to bring this wonderfully detailed and historically important data to the world has been one of the most personally rewarding projects I have ever worked on. Thank you to Erika for her leadership and inspiration throughout this technically challenging journey."
Co-Investigator; Led concept and technical methodology of structure-from-motion (SFM) and X-ray computed tomography (XCT) 3D model fusion process.
"The most rewarding aspect of this project’s development has been the realization that people from around the world - from all backgrounds, including young, future scientists - now have the opportunity to visualize the precious heritage rock samples in a unique way, which will stimulate the same awe and wonder that our team has had working with the samples up close."
Co-Investigator; Developed 3D modeling methodology; Computed first ever 3D model of a Moon rock; Co-developed high-resolution precision photography (HRPP) methodology; Co-designed rotation stage; Provided analysis of camera equipment and rotation stage optical targets.
"I will never forget an early photo session with Erika, where we were discussing how to clearly indicate the current orientation of the rock. I said, ‘if only we had a small object that could show up, down, east, west, north, and south.’ And she reached into her purse and came out with a small cube with just those markings."
Co-Investigator; Co-developed high-resolution precision photography (HRPP) methodology; Co-developed 3D modeling methodology.
“Releasing the secrets of these Lunar and Meteorite samples to the people of the world is the very definition of science.”
Website and Astromaterials 3D Explorer visual design language; user experience design.
"It was a pleasure working with such a wonderful team to bring these astromaterials into a real-time 3D environment that everyone can experience."
Organized and generated content describing the graphical data products for the PDS Geosciences Node.
"My excitement for this project meets at the intersection point of both the public’s accessibility to the cosmos and the underlying scientific stories these rocks can tell."
Astromaterial 3D Website developer, animator and responsive designer.
Project Curation Support
Co-Investigator; Provided support for lunar sample selection and X-ray computed tomography (XCT) scanning.
"This project has allowed us to view ‘old’ samples in a new light and helped to revitalize interest in them, both from a scientific perspective, as well as a public outreach perspective."
Collaborator; Provided support for meteorite sample selection and X-ray computed tomography (XCT) scanning.
"As a Curator I am excited about discovering something new in our samples with an eye for preservation and conversation."
Administrative-Principal Investigator; Concept collaborator and co-development; Resourcing support.
"I was in my yellow tent, camping in Antarctica’s South Miller Range when I received word that we’d been awarded the NASA grant that enabled this project. I didn’t know it at the time, but my ANSMET team would soon collect one of the samples featured here (CK5 meteorite MIL15307). I am honored to be a small part of this project. It excites me for many reasons: it crosses all kinds of boundaries -- art and science, big and small, old technologies and new, touching everything at all scales. Anyone, anywhere in the world can, in an instant, explore samples that may have formed at the beginning of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago, and zoom into particles with structures measured in nanometers that came to the Earth from hundreds of millions of kilometers away."
Provided resourcing, support, and guidance for the development of Astromaterials 3D from concept to launch.
"I have a keen interest in not only the underlying science of astromaterials, but also the stories they tell and the people that tell them. Astromaterials 3D is a very fulfilling example of how art, science, and technology can be presented in a captivating way when a team puts their minds to it and their hearts into it."