The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office

Our mission is to protect, preserve, and distribute samples for study from the Moon, Mars, and interplanetary space in support of solar system exploration. These sample collections include:

  • Lunar rocks and regolith returned by the Apollo missions
  • Dust particles collected from the stratosphere
  • Solar Wind samples collected during the exposer of ultrapure materials to the solar wind at the Earth-Sun L1 point
  • Meteorites recovered by the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites
  • Space-exposed surfaces retrieved from satellites or spacecraft
  • Cometary and Interstellar samples collected from Comet and Interstellar dust stream

Maintaining samples in a pure state is critical to extracting scientific information from these unique, and often very small, samples. Equally important, however, is making the collection available for scientific study and education, because it is these activities that give the samples their true value. It is also wise to reserve portions of samples for future studies that will become possible with new or improved ideas and techniques.

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