The Astromaterials Research Office (KR) is the home for over 25 state-of-the-art analytical Research Laboratories housing a broad spectrum of instruments and capabilities. These include various beam and spectrographic instruments, as well as laboratories for generating, modifying, and examining/processing both terrestrial and extraterrestrial geologic materials of interest for scientific analysis.
This research covers a wide spectrum of interest (e.g., primitive materials, planetary formation, Mars, mission science support, and astrobiology), and involves carrying out peer-reviewed research in astromaterials (e.g., meteorites, cosmic and interplanetary dust, comet, solar wind, lunar rocks, asteroids, Mars). Astromaterials research personnel are commonly involved in flight & sample return missions (e.g., LDEF, Stardust, Mars Phoenix & Rovers, ODC, Genesis, Mars Science Lab, Hayabusa, etc.) as scientist (Co-I or PI) gathering, processing, and interpreting results and/or sample analyses. The fundamental goals of the research carried out in these facilities is to better understand the origin and evolution of our solar system, in particular Earth, Mars, & Moon, and the nature and distribution of life in our solar system and possibly beyond.