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.

Erika Blumenfeld Independent Transdisciplinary Artist, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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."

For project inquiries, please email erika.h.blumenfeld@nasa.gov

Joseph Aebersold 3D Imagery Analyst, ISAG, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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."

Portrait Image
Ben Feist Software Engineer, Data Visualization & Informatics, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

Software architecture and development of the Astromaterials 3D Explorer application; 3D model and XCT data processing and repackaging for online streaming; Website JavaScript programming; Project coordination.

"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."

Kevin Beaulieu Imagery Analyst & Engineering Imagery Previsualization Specialist, ISAG, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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."

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Edward Oshel Photogrammetrist, ISAG, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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."

Donn Liddle Lead Photogrammetrist, ISAG, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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.”

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David Charney Visual Designer, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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."

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Andrew Britton Planetary Image Scientist, ESRS, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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."

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Bryan Modders Website Designer/Developer, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

Astromaterial 3D Website developer, animator and responsive designer.

Project Curation Support

Ryan Zeigler Apollo Sample Curator, ARES, NASA

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."

Kevin Righter Antarctic Meteorite Curator, ARES, NASA

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."

Project Leadership

Cynthia Evans ARES Senior Exploration Scientist, ARES, NASA

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."

Dan Garrison Deputy Director, Science and Exploration Department, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA

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."

Special Thanks

Eileen Stansbery Division Chief, Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division, Johnson Space Center
Thank you to Eileen for instigating and supporting the formation of this project
 
Francis McCubbin Astromaterials Curator, ARES, NASA
Astromaterials curation support; planetary science guidance
 
Darren Locke HX5 Teammate Principal & Curation Section Manager, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Resourcing, facilitation, and support
 
ARES Acquisition & Curation Office Sample preparation and staging, lab coordination and technical support
Andrea Mosie Senior Scientist Specialist, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Cecelia Satterwhite Antarctic Meteorite Sample Processor, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Jeremy Kent Apollo Sample Curation Processor, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Charis Hall Krysher Lunar Curation Processor, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Rachel Funk Astromaterials, Small Particles and Advanced Curation Processor, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Kellye Pando Scientist, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
 
Jose Falcon Facility Manager, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Ron Bastien Facility Manager, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Equipment fabrication
 
ARES Curation Technical Support Laboratory support
Helen Carney Technical Operations Manager, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Donna Lisa Owens Support Technician, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Laura Perez Support Technician, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Annette Decuba Support Technician, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Darvon Collins Support Technician, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
 
IT Development Team Website development support
Amanda Kubala IT and Software Development Lead, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Lina Mueller Web Developer, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Todd Smith Web Developer, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Kelly Cooper Solution Architect, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
 
Nicole Lunning Carbonaceous Asteroid Curator, ARES, NASA
Planetary science guidance
 
Michael Zolensky Cosmic Dust, Stardust, Hayabusa, Space-Exposed Hardware Curator, ARES, NASA
Planetary science guidance
 
Maura White NASA Imagery Technical Monitor, IRD, NASA
Oversaw support of Imagery Acquisition & Photographic Operations Groups
 
Imagery Acquisition Group Collaborators Photography consultation, equipment support & documentation
Mark Sowa Supervisor, IRD, COMIT Contract
William Stafford Scientific Photographer, IRD, COMIT Contract
Robert Markowitz Senior Scientific Photographer, IRD, COMIT Contract
Josh Valcarcel Scientific Photographer, IRD, COMIT Contract
James Blair Scientific Photographer, IRD, COMIT Contract
 
Photo Operations Group Collaborators NASA numbering and Image archiving, documentary image processing
William Close Supervisor
Warren Harrold Quality Control Lead
Jane Buckey Quality Control Specialist
 
NASA JSC Astromaterials X-ray Computed Tomography Lab XCT scanning
Scott Eckley X-ray Scientist, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Zoe Wilbur X-ray Scientist (now at University of Arizona)
 
Mary Luckey Curation Support Specialist, ARES, NASA
Procurement support
 
Thomas Cowden Curation Systems Development Engineer, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
Provided custom computing solutions for data processing
 
Mark Schaefbauer Softgoods Lab Manager, CTSD, Jacobs JETS contract
Rotation stage optical target design CAD layout and etching
 
Andi Thomas Earth Science Outreach Specialist, ESDS, Goddard Space Flight Center
Provided support for 3D model process development
 
Sarah Deitrick Lunar Researcher, Jacobs JETS contract at ARES, NASA
PDS development and coordination
 
University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility Collaborators XCT scanning and visualization support
Richard Ketcham First Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Yager Professor of Geological Sciences
Romy Hanna Research Associates
Jessica Maisano Research Scientist Associate and Facility Manager
Matthew Colbert Research Scientist Associate
Dave Edey Research Scientist Associate
 
Project documentary photography on About page, Project Team & FAQs navigation: NASA/Josh Valcarcel