Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter

Meteorite Curator Program News
Marilyn Lindstrom

New Meteorites

This newsletter contains classifications of 460 meteorites from the 1997-1999 ANSMET collections. Descriptions are given for seventeen meteorites of special petrologic type. These include eight chondrites (four type 3 ordinary chondrites, three carbonaceous chondrites, and one enstatite chondrite), eight achondrites (five HED, one ureilite and the best of the lot, two Brachinites) and one nice, large iron.

NOMAD and the Field Team

The classifications also include all eight meteorites (EET99400-407) collected by the Carnegie Mellon NOMAD rover in the Elephant Moraine area. All of the NOMAD samples are meteorites and they are more than half achondrites, suggesting that we may have biased their data by giving them too many achondrites for calibration. John Schutt also collected several more samples from the area while waiting for NOMAD to do its work and these will be announced in the next newsletter.

JSC Lab Renovations

Work continues on upgrading our facilities. Last year it was replacing the roof, and now it's the air handlers in the Meteorite Processing Lab (MPL). We currently have 2-30 year old units operating in serial. The outside handler has rusted out, but the inside primary one is still working. We are planning on replacing both units and adding HEPA filtration as an upgrade. We will also have the ducts cleaned.

During the design stage we are still working in the lab, and taking particle counts regularly so that we can close the lab if there is a problem. We are expecting to start construction this fall and to be shut down for at least a month. Then the lab will be completely cleaned before starting new work. Please get your sample requests in early so that we can have your allocations done before the shutdown.

Astromaterials Curation Logo

New ARES Office

Planetary Materials (now Astromaterials) curation and research have long been the focus of our division at JSC and an ivory tower in the center. Since 1995 Astromaterials and Human Exploration of Space have been the two missions of JSC, yet Astromaterials was not visible in the organization chart, being hidden in the large Space and Life Sciences Directorate. Under Carl Agee's leadership (and with the help of some of our university friends) we are becoming the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Office. We will be on the organization chart and be much more visible both inside and outside NASA. We also will be getting new civil service hires to help us with the expanded workload of future missions. We have already hired Carl Allen as curator (see below) and Lindsey Keller to fill one of the science positions advertised in March. We are moving forward on both Astromaterials curation and Astromaterials-Astrobiology research.

Greetings and Farewell to Curators

Welcome Carlton Allen as our new Astromaterials curator. Carl is no stranger to curation having worked on advanced curation for Lockheed Martin. Astromaterials Curator He will oversee our expanding group, which balances curation of existing collections (lunar, meteorite, cosmic dust) with growing work on advanced curation. Dave Lindstrom is lead for advanced curation and working on Mars Sample Return curation while others work with Discovery missions such as Genesis and Stardust. Genesis' payload has just left our clean lab for integration onto the spacecraft and Stardust has collected interplanetary dust enroute to Comet Wild 2.

Meanwhile, I am leaving meteorite curation to work full time as Education and Outreach Manager for the newly upgraded ARES Office. I have loved working with all of you (curation staff, MWG, MSG, and all the PIs). I will keep a small role in curation web/publications, but both my curation and outreach jobs had expanded so that there was never enough time. (I had already drastically reduced my research activity.) Carl Allen and Duck Mittlefehldt will handle meteorite curation until a permanent curator is hired. Our transition will take place during September and October, but I'll still be around as advisor (or historian) when needed. Farewell, but I'll just be around the corner and ready to help with public information.

Help Us Update Our Newsletter Mailing List

The Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter is published on the web after it is sent to printing. The printing of a large number of newsletters is quite expensive these days so we wish to determine how many paper copies of the newsletter we need to print for distribution. Therefore, if you are able to access the newsletter from the web, please do so and permit us to save this expense. To receive a hard copy of the newsletter, please send your name, street address, city, state, country, zip code, e-mail, phone, and fax number to the address or e-mail below and indicate your desire to continue to be on the newsletter distribution list.

We are also requesting updates for our listing of name, addresses, and e-mails of meteorite investigators. Please send the corrected information to the address or e-mail below and indicate that the information is being sent to update our databases only.

If you do not wish to remain on the paper distribution list for the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter and your information is accurate in our database, you need take no action.

Thank you for your attention and interest.

Send to: Cecilia Satterwhite
Mail Code SN2
2101 Nasa Road 1
Houston, Texas 77058

Or e-mail the information to: Cecilia Satterwhite