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Poster Session: Gather.town Poster Session

Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 1:10 PM

Curran N. M.* Frasl B.
Analysis of Planetary Samples in the MNGRL Lab [#3002]
The Mid-Atlantic Noble Gas Research Laboratory (MNGRL) located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is equipped with a Thermo Helix-MC (multiple-collector) magnetic sector mass spectrometer, used for the analysis of noble gases (Helium to Xenon). A Photon Machines FUSIONS.970 laser is used to extract gas from soil and rocklet samples. Our extraction system contains a Janis CCT-340K CC cryogenic cold trap, a liquid nitrogen cold finger, and two SEAS getters to allow for the separation and cleanup of sample gases. Complete system automation is achieved using the Pychron software package (written by Jake Ross of the New Mexico Noble Gas Research Laboratory). The system is calibrated and tuned for Ar/Ar geochronology and He-Ne-Ar cosmic ray exposure dating. The lab is further complemented with two in-house micro-sample preparation and microscope documentation facilities. The MNGRL is set up as a NASA investigator facility, where we strive to be open to all NASA-funded collaborators. Currently, we are funded through NASA’s internal scientist funding model (ISFM) and competitive grants (e.g., NASA ROSES) which provide basic funding to the MNGRL facilities to enable measurements to be made and funding for projects, respectively. Currently our research is focused on the evolution of the lunar surface (bombardment history, regolith evolution), but the scope of the lab includes analysis of a variety of both returned and meteorite samples.
Whittington A. G.*
The Heat and Mass Transfer and Experimental Rheology (HAMsTER) Lab at the University of Texas at San Antonio [#3004]
The Heat and Mass Transfer and Experimental Rheology (HAMsTER) Lab at UTSA has a range of high-temperature analytical and experimental equipment. We measure heat capacity and heats of transformation (e.g., melting) using differential scanning calorimetry, with a Netzsch DSC404F1 (+50 to +1650°C) or a Perkin Elmer DSC 8500 (–80 to +750°C). We study rheology of liquids and two- and three-phase suspensions, with an Anton Paar MCR302 (oscillatory or rotational measurements in a variety of configurations, from –40 to +550°C), a Theta Instruments Rheotronic 1000 parallel-plate (uniaxial creep) viscometer from ambient to 1100°C, and an Orton RSV1700 (rotational concentric-cylinder viscometry, from ambient to 1700°C). We measure thermal diffusivity and conductivity of glasses and rocks using a Netzsch LFA467HT from ambient to 1250°C. Supporting equipment includes a helium pycnometer for density, nanodrop spectrometer for Fe2+/Fe3+ determination by wet chemistry, binocular and petrographic microscopes with cameras, several furnaces, etc. The lab is operated by the PI with a large group of graduate and undergraduate students, and sometimes postdocs. Funding for the facilities is primarily through individual research grants, while several students are supported by the UTSA Center for Advanced Measurements in Extreme Environments (CAMEE), founded by a NASA MIRO grant. New scientific collaborations are always welcome, especially those that will lead to external funding proposals and involve students. We operate as a research lab, and not an analytical fee-for-service lab. Our primary focus is on understanding thermo-rheological feedbacks during geologic and planetary processes including volcanism, magmatism, and tectonism. We also study the properties of planetary regolith simulants during heating, melting and crystallization, with a view to improving ISRU processes in extraterrestrial settings. For more information visit our website at https://www.utsa.edu/sciences/labs/AlanWhittington/ or email alan.whittington@utsa.edu.
Filiberto J.* Burton A. Hahn T. M. Keller L. P. Rampe E. et al.
The NASA Facility for Astromaterials Research at the Johnson Space Center - A National Laboratory for Planetary Research [#3005]
The Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at the NASA Johnson Space Center has established the NASA Facility for Astromaterials Research (NFAR) through the NASA Planetary Science Enabling Facilities program. NFAR is designed to provide access to our unique combination of laboratories, instruments, infrastructure, and technical expertise for conducting broad-based world-class planetary research. NFAR enables direct access to both research and curation expertise, to facilitate specialized sample handling and analysis of astromaterials and planetary analog materials, particularly those affiliated with institutions that historically have limited access to or lack in-house analytical or experimental facilities. We issue three calls for user proposals each year due the last day of April, July, and November. We award NFAR research projects to users in a competitive peer-reviewed proposal process. Proposals to use NFAR labs are limited to < 5 pages. More information can be found at: https://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/research/nasa-facility-astromaterials-research/.
Dobrica E.*
Advanced Electron Microscopy Center for Cosmochemistry [#3006]
The Advanced Electron Microscopy Center (AEMC) is a service facility at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Mānoa that provides sample preparation and electron and ion microscopy imaging and analysis to the scientist at UH as well as other research institutions across the United States and internationally. The scope of the facility is the characterization of the morphology, elemental composition, crystalline microstructure, and atomic arrangements of materials at scales from 10s of micrometers down to the near-atomic level. The facility is successfully used to study the mineralogy and chemical composition of meteorites, micrometeorites, interplanetary dust particles, and samples returned from the Moon, comets, and asteroids. In the future, this facility will contribute to maximizing the scientific return from Bennu’s regolith. Furthermore, AEMC is a training ground for the next generation of planetary scientists. UH is a minority-serving institution, and training students in Hawai‘i provides a pipeline to help increase diversity in the field of planetary science. The AEMC is equipped with two main instruments [scanning electron microscope (SEM) – FEI Helios and transmission electron microscope (TEM) – FEI Titan] that have helped refine and extend the range of our knowledge of extraterrestrial samples. The collection of instruments available in this facility enables not only new discoveries through the powerful combination of sample preparation, imaging, diffraction, and X-ray and electron energy loss spectroscopies, but also efficient production of knowledge by having all the tools necessary in the same facility. At present, the SEM/FIB instrument is covered by a service contract, ensuring its optimal functionality. However, the TEM has been operating without a service contract. Despite this, the facility director takes personal responsibility for its maintenance and ensures its operational status. Additionally, the director provides guidance/training, mentoring, and technical consultation to all the electron microscopes users in the AEMC facility. The AEMC facility is available to all internal and external users who solicited access via email. No formal proposal is necessary for the use of the instruments available in this facility. Access to all required electron and ion beam analytical, experiments, and characterization techniques will be granted to PSD-funded researchers. Director: Elena Dobrica, dobrica@hawaii.edu http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/AEMC/ .
Stroud R. M.* Schrader D. L. Garvie L. A. J. Davidson J. Jurewicz A. J. G. et al.
The Carleton B. Moore Meteorite Collection at the Buseck Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona State University [#3007]
The Buseck Center for Meteorite Studies (BCMS) at Arizona State University (ASU) curates one of the largest university-based meteorite collections, the Carleton B. Moore Meteorite Collection. Established in 1961 as The Center for Meteorite Studies (CMS), BCMS curates close to 2260 falls and finds represented by over 40,000 specimens, in a modern, purpose-built, climate controlled, curatorial facility (nicknamed ‘the vault’). Since 2008, the Center has added 107 falls to the collection, for a total of 572 observed falls. Notable examples for which we house significant masses include Aguas Zarcas, Dishchii’bikoh, Dong Ujimqin Qi, Glendale, Sutter’s Mill, Tarda, Tiglit, and Tissint. The center houses representative samples of nearly 40% of all classified iron meteorites, of which historic irons are particularly well represented in the collection. In addition, the Center curates a large collection of impact and related materials from Meteor Crater, together with over 500,000 tektites. The BCMS mission is to create and share new knowledge in the field of meteoritics and allied disciplines through 1) Cutting-edge research on understanding the origin of our Solar System and planets, including the pathways to forming habitable worlds; 2) Increased science return from spacecraft-based exploration through laboratory-based analysis of extraterrestrial materials; 3) Curation and distribution of one of the finest meteorite collections in the world; and 4) Broad dissemination of the latest scientific results and education at local, national and global scales. The BCMS has an active loan program with >785 meteorites loaned for research and education within ASU and worldwide since 2017. Educational engagement across all levels is integral to the BCMS mission. The Center maintains an active online presence, and offers loanable K-12 classroom modules, that are aligned to the National Science Education Standards, to K-12 students and educators. Additional information about requesting loans, outreach programs, and subscribing to the Center Newsletter can be found at: https://meteorites.asu.edu.
Heck P. R.* Holstein J.
The Meteorite Collection at the Field Museum’s Robert A. Pritzker Center [#3008]
The Field Museum of Natural History, established in 1894, houses one of the largest meteorite collections in the world. With 1,920 distinct meteorites and 13,217 cataloged specimens, it holds the record as the largest collection at a private scientific research institution. The collection began with 170 meteorites displayed at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The first curator, Oliver Farrington, published the Handbook and Catalogue of the Meteorite Collection in 1895 when only 530 meteorites were known. The curatorship was subsequently passed down to several individuals, including Henry Nichols, Sharat Roy, Edward Olsen, Meenakshi Wadhwa, and Philipp Heck. The collection experienced significant growth with the acquisition of the Ward-Coonley collection in 1912. Further expansion came from purchases, exchanges, gifts, and field discoveries. However, the rising monetary value of meteorites in the 21st century has made it challenging for the Museum to afford scientifically significant specimens. As a result, the Museum relies on private collectors and meteorite dealers as donors. Notable donations include Murchison, nearly 40 kg of which was acquired shortly after its fall in 1969, thanks to the financial support from Glenn Commons, Reinhold Groh, and David Wren. Terry Boudreaux and his family have also made significant contributions over the past decade, including nearly 2 kg of Aguas Zarcas. In 2022, the Boudreaux Family made a significant donation enabling the acquisition of a fossil meteorite collection. Substantial donations also came from Jay Piatek and include the Martian meteorite NWA 7034, along with other rare achondrites. The collaboration with meteorite collectors has been crucial for acquiring scientifically valuable specimens, enabling research that would otherwise be impossible. The collection is housed at the Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies, established in 2008 with a major gift from the TAWANI Foundation. The grant allowed for the installation of a state-of-the-art repository. Meteorites are stored in dust-tight cabinets, with selected specimens stored in desiccators and cryogenic vessels. The center provides research loans to qualified scientists for both non-destructive and destructive analysis. Studies of the collection contribute to our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System. The authors thank the TAWANI Foundation, the Boudreaux Family, Jay Piatek, and other donors.
Mayne R. G.*
The Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Collection at Texas Christian University [#3003]
The Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Collection at Texas Christian University (TCU) currently contains around 2500 different meteorite samples. It is funded by the Oscar and Juanita Monnig Endowment and maintained by the Monnig Meteorite Collection Curator, Dr. Rhiannon Mayne. A database of all samples within the Monnig Collection (excluding thin sections) is available online and loan requests are initiated via an online form through the Monnig website (https://monnigmuseum.tcu.edu/our-collection/). All allocation requests are reviewed by, and at the discretion of, the Curator. Requests will be considered for two purposes: (1) Educational requests for teaching or for display at other museums and institutions will be considered by the Curator. Teaching loans are short-term, for the time period of the class only, and display requests will be issued for 12 months, though renewal is possible on request. (2)Requests for research purposes can only be made by researchers at accredited, well-established institutions. In the case of graduate students, the research advisor is responsible for both the loan request and care of any sample loan that is issued. Loans will typically be issued for 6 months, though renewal is possible on request. We do request that copies of all publications (including theses, dissertations, and abstracts) resulting from research on meteorite from the Monnig Collection are provided to us electronically.


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