LPL Newsletter for June 2022

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Back in 2019, LPL Assistant Professor Jessica Barnes and her team were selected and funded by NASA's Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) Program to study a previously unopened sample of a Moon rock collected during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. ANGSA will facilitate the study of lunar samples returned by the Apollo Program in advance of the upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon’s South Pole. Flash forward to the present, and Apollo 17 sample 71036, which weighs nearly 4 ounces, is in Tucson and being analyzed by the Barnes team. It is very exciting, given our lab's original mission and ties to the Apollo Program, that a new generation of LPL scientists is supporting the next phase of lunar exploration. Be sure to follow the link below to learn about the fascinating process for getting the lunar samples from NASA Johnson Space Center to Tucson and LPL.

If you happen to be in Tucson this summer, you, too, can see a Moon rock. Stop by the UArizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum, which has on display through mid-August a lunar rock sample collected by Apollo 15 in 1971. The specimen weighs 4 ounces and measures about 3 inches long; it is the largest sample that NASA loans to museums.

Follow us on social media to keep up with all the latest research and contact us at PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOkhOWUNZQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaCI+SE5ZQ1lAeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoPC9uPg== if you'd like to subscribe to the newsletter.

Director and Department Head
Three ARES scientists process frozen Apollo 17 samples inside a walk-in freezer maintained at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 C). Beneath the laboratory gown, they don parkas, gloves, and hats to keep warm. Credits: NASA/Robert Markowitz

Unboxing Apollo Samples

Dr. Jessica Barnes and her team, which includes graduate student Zoë Wilbur (pictured above left), recently received samples of the lunar surface that have been curated in a freezer since Apollo 17 astronauts returned them to Earth in December 1972.

Photo of Moon rock from Apollo 15 mission.

Want to See a Moon Rock?

A lunar rock collected during the 1971 Apollo 15 mission is on loan to the UArizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum through mid-August.