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NASA opens a new collection of moon rocks to researchers

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NASA opens a new collection of moon rocks to researchers

Johnson Space Center in Houston houses more than 2,000 samples collected over six Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972 from various parts of the moon. The collection includes rocks, core samples, pebbles and dust that scientists are still learning from 50 years later. Hari Sreenivasan reports on the laboratory keeping these artifacts safe.
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NASA Opens Moon Rock Samples Sealed Since Apollo Missions

Inside a locked vault at Johnson Space Center is treasure few have seen and fewer have touched.

The restricted lab is home to hundreds of pounds of moon rocks collected by Apollo astronauts close to a half-century ago. And for the first time in decades, NASA is about to open some of the pristine samples and let geologists take a crack at them with 21st-century technology.

What better way to mark this summer’s 50th anniversary of humanity’s first footsteps on the moon than by sharing a bit of the lunar loot.

“It’s sort of a coincidence that we’re opening them in the year of the anniversary,” explained NASA’s Apollo sample curator Ryan Zeigler, covered head to toe in a white protective suit with matching fabric boots, gloves and hat.

“But certainly the anniversary increased the awareness and the fact that we’re going back to the moon.”

With the golden anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s feat fast approaching — their lunar module Eagle landed July 20, 1969, on the Sea of Tranquility — the moon is red-hot again.

After decades of flip-flopping between the moon and Mars as the next big astronaut destination, NASA aims to put astronauts on the lunar surface again by 2024 at the White House’s direction. President Donald Trump prefers talking up Mars. But the consensus is that the moon is a crucial proving ground given its relative proximity to home — 240,000 miles (386,000 kilometers) or two to three days away.

Zeigler’s job is to preserve what the 12 moonwalkers brought back from 1969 through 1972 — lunar samples totaling 842 pounds (382 kilograms) — and ensure scientists get the best possible samples for study.

Some of the soil and bits of rock were vacuum-packed on the moon — and never exposed to Earth’s atmosphere — or frozen or stored in gaseous helium following splashdown and then left untouched. The lab’s staff is now trying to figure out how best to remove the samples from their tubes and other containers without contaminating or spoiling anything. They’re practicing with mock-up equipment and pretend lunar dirt.

Compared with Apollo-era tech, today’s science instruments are much more sensitive, Zeigler noted.

“We can do more with a milligram than we could do with a gram back then. So it was really good planning on their part to wait,” he said.

The lunar sample lab has two side-by-side vaults: one for rocks still in straight-from-the-moon condition and a smaller vault for samples previously loaned out for study. About 70 percent of the original haul is in the pristine sample vault, which has two combinations and takes two people to unlock. About 15 percent is in safekeeping at White Sands in New Mexico. The rest is used for research or display.

Of the six manned moon landings, Apollo 11 yielded the fewest lunar samples: 48 pounds or 22 kilograms. It was the first landing by astronauts and NASA wanted to minimize their on-the-moon time and risk. What’s left from this mission — about three-quarters after scientific study, public displays and goodwill gifts to all countries and U.S. states in 1969 — is kept mostly here at room temperature.

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Apollo’s Most Important Discovery (Inside NASA’s Moon Rock Vault!)

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Fifty years ago, we sent the first astronauts to walk on the moon’s face. But what they brought back is just as important as what got them there. I’m talking about moon rocks, guys. And I got to go visit NASA’s lunar sample vault to learn more about them! NASA’s moon rock collection has helped us learn so much about the early solar system, the formation of rocky planets like ours, and where our moon came from. And let me tell you, the story of our moon is a VIOLENT one. It involves the word “magmoon”. That’s an awesome word! Enjoy this video, and I hope you learn not just some lunar geology, but also how exploring the moon helped change what the space program was all about.
#apollo #moon #apollo50

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A HUGE thank you to Andrea Mosie - Lab Manager
(You're one of my favorite people Andrea...you made a lasting impression!)

Also thank you to:
Ryan Zeigler (Apollo Sample Curator), and
Curators:
Charis Hall Krysher
Judy Allton
Linda Watts
Carla Gonzalez

A personal thank you to Gordon for setting this up.

Checkout this picture of Curation back in the day:



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CATALOG OF APOLLO LUNAR SURFACE GEOLOGICAL SAMPLING TOOLS AND CONTAINERS


Armstrong discusses sample boxes


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Vacuum processing facility


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NASA's moon rock lab home to geologic treasures

(26 Jun 2019) NATS (Wheel whirrs, vault opens)
IN THIS HEAVY DUTY SAFE AT HOUSTON'S JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, NASA GUARDS WHAT ASTRONAUTS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE APOLLO LUNAR LANDINGS…A TREASURE TROVE OF MOON ROCKS…
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Apollo 11 samples collection:  
I mean the fact that in 1969 - with less computing power than your smartphone has - people flew half a million miles round trip to the moon and back and survived and then manage to bring all these amazing rocks back that have taught us about the entire solar system. It's just - as a geologist - these are the holy grail.
AND TO GET INTO SEE SPACE DUST AND BOULDERS, YOU HAVE TO WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND GO THROUGH AIR LOCKS— TO NOT CONTAMINATE THE SAMPLES.
(DOOR OPENING)
THE SCIENTIFIC 'WOW' FACTOR OF WHAT THE LAB HOLDS IS NOT LOST ON THOSE WHO WORK THERE.
SOUNDBITE (English) Charis Krysher, Lunar Sample Processor:
They're actually priceless. I mean, we - at this point - we can't go back and get any more.
THE MOON ROCKS ARE ALSO PRICELESS FOR WHAT THEY PROVIDE SCIENTISTS AROUND THE WORLD — OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OWN PLANET, SOLAR SYSTEM AND UNIVERSE.
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Apollo 11 samples collection:
There's 125 groups around the world who are actually studying the samples, so it's my job to get them the best samples possible and actually make everyone else's science better.
THE SPACE AGENCY'S LAB HOLDS MOST OF THE 842 POUNDS OF ROCKS AND PARTICLES ASTRONAUTS COLLECTED OVER VARIOUS APOLLO MISSIONS…. THE REST ARE IN STORAGE IN NEW MEXICO OR OUT AMONG OTHER RESEARCHERS.
SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Kent, Lunar Sample Processor:
It gives us information on the earliest history in our solar system where that record just doesn't exist anymore on earth.
AND ON THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF LANDING HUMANS ON THE MOON, NASA IS GOING TO CRACK OPEN NEVER BEFORE VIEWED SAMPLES….HELD FOR DECADES IN METAL VACUUM TUBES.
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Lunar Sample Processor:
So the two that are going to get opened are this one here and that one there.
WHY THE WAIT?
BECAUSE SCIENTISTS FIGURED FIVE DECADES AGO, TECHNOLOGY WOULD BE BETTER NOW—
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Apollo 11 samples collection:
Science instruments are 4, 5, 6 generations more sensitive and we can do more with a milligram than we could do with a gram back then.
NEW ROCKS THAT WILL MAKE RIPPLES IN RESEARCHING OUR CELESTIAL COMPANION…
SOUNDBITE (English) Lacey Costello, Lunar Sample Processor:
Each time I put my hands in the cabinet and pick up a sample, I think about, OK, this came from the moon.
REIGNITING OUR FASCINATION WITH SPACE, IF AND WHEN WE TAKE A SHOT AT RETURNING TO THE MOON.
JOHN MONE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, HOUSTON

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Inside the moon rocks vault with NASA's rock star

Moon rocks, soil and dust are stored at Johnson Space Center to be studied and kept safe.

What do Moon rocks reveal about the universe? | The Economist

Between 1969 and 1972 six Apollo missions returned to Earth with Moon rocks. It was hoped that they would unlock lunar secrets but they also ended up teaching scientists more about the creation of the Earth and the universe beyond.

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These have been described as the most expensive rocks in the world. Until NASA’s Apollo moon missions they’d laid on the lunar surface for millions of years undisturbed by humans.

From 1969 to 1972 there were six Apollo missions which returned to Earth with samples. It was hoped they’d uncover secrets about the Moon - they ended up teaching scientists a lot about the Earth too.

Nine containers of lunar samples were brought back to Earth. Scientists studying the rocks learnt a great deal about the many impacts early in the Moon’s development. These created huge craters - some the size of large countries.

Ancient volcanic eruptions then filled some of these basins with vast plains of lava, creating the dry seas that can be seen by humans on Earth billions of years later.

But the moon rocks also revealed the biggest impact was the one that created the Moon itself. Scientists found the Moon rocks to be surprisingly, perhaps disappointingly, like those on Earth. It turns out that the Earth and the Moon are chemically very similar indeed, as if twins.

It was this revelation that led to a game-changing idea - The giant impact theory. The latest version of this theory involves the new idea of a synestia. In this theory the impact fills nearby space with a doughnut of hot vapour. Both the Moon and Earth are formed from the magma rain that resulted. The gravitational pull which binds the Moon and Earth to each other became the main cause of the rise and fall of the Earth’s ocean tides.

Scientists believe these tides could have been crucial for the evolution of animal life on Earth by offering a route from under the sea to above it.

For almost 50 years no human has returned to the Moon. Now missions are being planned to its unexplored territories. The hope of the next generation of scientists is that by studying new samples of rock they can unlock many more of the Moon’s secrets - and even some of the Earth’s.


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Should NASA open its last lunar samples?

There's a fine balance between preserving Apollo lunar samples and preparing for the future.

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Inside Earth's largest collection of moon rocks

Fifty years ago next week, Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon. Over the course of the Apollo program, a dozen astronauts made the 240,000-mile journey to the moon's surface, scooping up hundreds of pounds of rocks and soil. Mark Strassmann has a rare glimpse inside the secure, windowless facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston where most of those rocks are stored.

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NASA's moon rock lab home to geologic treasures

(26 Jun 2019) FOR CLEAN VERSION SEE STORY NUMBER: apus119370

NATS (Wheel whirrs, vault opens)
IN THIS HEAVY DUTY SAFE AT HOUSTON'S JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, NASA GUARDS WHAT ASTRONAUTS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE APOLLO LUNAR LANDINGS…A TREASURE TROVE OF MOON ROCKS…
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Apollo 11 samples collection:  
I mean the fact that in 1969 - with less computing power than your smartphone has - people flew half a million miles round trip to the moon and back and survived and then manage to bring all these amazing rocks back that have taught us about the entire solar system. It's just - as a geologist - these are the holy grail.
AND TO GET INTO SEE SPACE DUST AND BOULDERS, YOU HAVE TO WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND GO THROUGH AIR LOCKS— TO NOT CONTAMINATE THE SAMPLES.
(DOOR OPENING)
THE SCIENTIFIC 'WOW' FACTOR OF WHAT THE LAB HOLDS IS NOT LOST ON THOSE WHO WORK THERE.
SOUNDBITE (English) Charis Krysher, Lunar Sample Processor:
They're actually priceless. I mean, we - at this point - we can't go back and get any more.
THE MOON ROCKS ARE ALSO PRICELESS FOR WHAT THEY PROVIDE SCIENTISTS AROUND THE WORLD — OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OWN PLANET, SOLAR SYSTEM AND UNIVERSE.
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Apollo 11 samples collection:
There's 125 groups around the world who are actually studying the samples, so it's my job to get them the best samples possible and actually make everyone else's science better.
THE SPACE AGENCY'S LAB HOLDS MOST OF THE 842 POUNDS OF ROCKS AND PARTICLES ASTRONAUTS COLLECTED OVER VARIOUS APOLLO MISSIONS…. THE REST ARE IN STORAGE IN NEW MEXICO OR OUT AMONG OTHER RESEARCHERS.
SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Kent, Lunar Sample Processor:
It gives us information on the earliest history in our solar system where that record just doesn't exist anymore on earth.
AND ON THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF LANDING HUMANS ON THE MOON, NASA IS GOING TO CRACK OPEN NEVER BEFORE VIEWED SAMPLES….HELD FOR DECADES IN METAL VACUUM TUBES.
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Lunar Sample Processor:
So the two that are going to get opened are this one here and that one there.
WHY THE WAIT?
BECAUSE SCIENTISTS FIGURED FIVE DECADES AGO, TECHNOLOGY WOULD BE BETTER NOW—  
SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zeigler, Curator, Apollo 11 samples collection:
Science instruments are 4, 5, 6 generations more sensitive and we can do more with a milligram than we could do with a gram back then.
NEW ROCKS THAT WILL MAKE RIPPLES IN RESEARCHING OUR CELESTIAL COMPANION…
SOUNDBITE (English) Lacey Costello, Lunar Sample Processor:
Each time I put my hands in the cabinet and pick up a sample, I think about, OK, this came from the moon.
REIGNITING OUR FASCINATION WITH SPACE, IF AND WHEN WE TAKE A SHOT AT RETURNING TO THE MOON.
JOHN MONE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, HOUSTON

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A visit to NASA's moon rock central | Science News

Science News astronomy writer Lisa Grossman went behind the scenes at NASA’s pristine sample lab at Johnson Space Center in Houston this spring and saw moon rocks up close — or as close as non-astronauts can get.

Read more:

CREDITS
Credits

Story
Lisa Grossman

Production, editing, additional animation & video
Helen Thompson

Video & images

Field footage
Felix Sanchez

Field sound
Len Wehrung

Apollo mission and samples
NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA
Johnson Space Center/NASA

Mars
R. Luk/Arizona State University, JPL/NASA

Mercury
NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,Carnegie Institution of Washington

Moon
NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

Solar system
NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, USGS Astrogeology Science Center, Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA, Space Telescope Science Institute, Space Science Institute/JPL/NASA

Earthrise
NASA

Mars exploration
Cornell, JPL-Caltech/NASA
Cornell, JPL/NASA

Giant impact animation
JPL-Caltech/NASA

Lunar magma ocean animation
Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA

Historical audio
NASA

Music
“Clair De Lune (Orchestral Arr.)” by Podington Bear (CC BY-NC 3.0)

“Chauncy” by Podington Bear (CC BY-NC 3.0)

“Magnetic Rag” by Scott Joplin, perf. by Constantin Stephan (CC BY-NC 3.0)

“Local Forecast” by Kevin MacLeod, incompetech.com (CC BY 3.0)

“Everybody's Got Problems That Aren't Mine” by Chris Zabriskie (CC BY 4.0)

“Clair De Lune (Felt Piano, Rhodes, and Drum Machine Arr.)” by Podington Bear (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Lisence links:



Moon rocks collected during Apollo 11 moon landing missing

Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon, and during that mission, rock samples were collected for each of the 50 states upon returning to earth.

Joe Gutheinz, a former NASA special agent and now unofficially known as the moon rock hunter, has been on a quest to make sure the rocks were preserved, but apparently two are missing: New York and Delaware.

Smaller samples were encased in Lucite and put on special commemorative displays, along with flags that went to the moon -- one given to each of the fifty states and 135 countries.

Gutheinz said he's on a mission of his own to find and document all of those state displays as part of the 50th anniversary.

Tim Fleischer has more:
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Inside NASA’s Lunar Lab, where the Moon’s rocks are studied

In building 31 north at the Johnson Space Center, NASA’s Lunar Lab houses some of the most famous rocks from all the Apollo missions. They have over 100,000 rocks from space.

NASA's moon rock lab home to geologic treasures

NASA’s Lunar Sample Laboratory houses hundreds of pounds of moon rocks. With the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing approaching, NASA is about to open some Apollo samples for the first time in decades. (June 26)

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Apollo 11 | Moon Rocks Reveal a Wild Early Solar System | The Great Courses Plus

In a story that sounds like the basis for a science fiction blockbuster, Professor Sabine Stanley, the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, demonstrates how studying Moon rocks has suggested a large number of meteor collisions in our solar system about four billion years ago—known as the Late Heavy Bombardment. See how this Moon event, which occurred during a concentrated time period of 200 million years, has implied that giant planets migrated during their formation—a possibility many scientists never considered. Watch the other videos in this series when you sign up for a FREE Trial of The Great Courses Plus:

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NASA opens untouched moon samples 40+ years later?

NASA opens untouched moon samples 40+ years after there trip to the moon!
This makes no sense to me at all I mean why wait 40+ years as the Moon landing was such a big event.

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts ????

1972 Moonwalker Visits Moon Rocks in 2019, Talks Lunar Geology

Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt talks to NASA astronaut candidate and geologist Jessica Watkins at the Johnson Space Center’s Moon rock lab. Story: Future Moonwalkers Need Geology Training, Apollo 17's Harrison Schmitt Says

Credit: NASA Johnson Space Center

NASA Opening ???? Moon Rocks Sealed since Apollo Missions | NASA News in Hindi | NASA Update|

दोस्तों Johnson Space Center में किसी खजाने की तरह से moon से आए हुये पत्थरो को रखा गया है। इसे बहुत ही कम लोगों ने देखा और Touch किया है।

ये restricted lab सैकड़ो किलो moon rocks का घर है जिसे आधी शताब्दी पहले Apollo astronauts ने collect किया था।

अब NASA इन प्राचीन पत्थरों को पहली बार निकाल रहा है इन्हे geologists को दिया जाएगा ताकि वे इनकी 21st-century की technology से जांच कर सकें
आज से 50 साल पहले July 20, 1969 को Neil Armstrong ने moon पर पहला कदम रखा था और अब moon rocks के खजाने को खोलना moon पर human के पाहुचने की 50th anniversary मनाने जैसा है।

और Moon पर पाहुचने के 50 साल बाद ये भी NASA ने announce किया है की वे दोबारा 2024 में moon पर जा रहे है।

कई वर्षों से NASA में ये confusion चल रही थी की moon पर दोबारा जया जाए या direct mars पर human mission भेजा जाए। लेकिन Finally पहले Moon पर जाना decide हुआ।

क्योंकि moon पर जाना easy है जो केवल 386,000 kilometers दूर है जहां पर 2 से 3 दिन में पाहुचा जा सकता है।

US Donald Trump का कहना है की Moon पर दोबारा जाना Mars mission का ही part है जिसमें पहले moon पर पाहुच कर Deep Space Mission में आने वाली कठिनाइयों को दोबारा से समझा जा सकेगा और फिर 2025 से 2030 के बीच Mars पर human को भेजा जा सकेगा।

1969 through 1972 तक चले Apollo mission 12 moon walkers द्वारा 382 kilograms moon rocks लाये गए।

इनमें से कुछ मिट्टी और चट्टानें vacuum-packed करके रखी गयी हैं जिसे कभी भी Earth के atmosphere के contact में आने नहीं दिया गया है। कुछ को Frozen और helium gas में रखा गया है जिसे कभी भी touch नहीं किया गया है।
अब lab's staff इसमें से कुछ samples को सावधानी से दूसरे container में निकलेंगे जिससे किसी भी sample में कोई contamination न आए।

इन samples को test करने के लिए आज की technology उस Apollo era की technology से काफी advanced है जिससे इस sample के 1 milligram part से ही काफी जानकारी जुटाई जा सकती है अब geologist अपने अपने samples का wait कर रहे हैं ताकि वे lunar dirt को test कर सके।

6 moon landings में से Apollo 11 जो की पहला moon man mission था इसमें सबसे कम यानि 22 kilograms moon Rock को लाया गया
क्योकि ये पहला moon mission था जिसमें NASA कोई भी Risk नहीं लेना चाहता था।इसलिए कम samples को लाया गया।

उन्होने ये samples 2 1/2-hour की moon walk से collect किए। Apollo 15, 16 and 17 के mission में Rover भी भेजे गए जिससे ज्यादा Area को cover किया जा सका और ज्यादा samples भी लाये गए।
हालांकि some Moon samples को पहले यानि 50 1969 के time पर भी study किया गया था but वो study बहुत limited थी अब आज की technology में इसे study किया जाएगा जिससे कई नयी जंकरियन सामने आएंगी।

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Moon Rocks at The Open University

The Open University’s Dr Mahesh Anand explains the importance of his work researching the Moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and how to use our Virtual Microscope to look at them in greater detail. Examine a selection of Moon rocks collected by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, from the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, the first Moon landing.

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Nasa Fed Apollo 11 Moon Rocks to Cockroaches (And Then Things Got Even Weirder)

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