Image credit: Bill Stafford (JSC), NASA @Astromaterials
Samples collected by NASA missions and returned to Earth require delicate preparation and complicated analytical techniques. Some samples, such as comet dust collected from the Stardust mission, or interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected from the Earth’s stratosphere, are particularly tricky to work with as many of the samples are less than 20 microns in size. For context, that’s smaller than the thickness of a human hair!
In November, I headed to Johnson Space Center and the Lunar and Planetary Institute to learn more about the techniques for analyzing these precious materials,. Check out the press release from LPI below.