Curation of NASA Astromaterials Collection

Our highly skilled scientists and technicians work with NASA to protect, preserve, and distribute Moon, Mars, and interplanetary space samples for solar system exploration. We are on the forefront of new methods and technologies for advanced curation, including cold curation and planning for acquiring and handling samples in challenging environments such as near-Earth asteroids, the Moon, and Mars.

Lunar rock sample on metal platter.
Woman working in a research lap viewing graphs and other research information on the quad computer screens.


Basic Research into Planetary Science

As humans strive to understand the origin and evolution of the solar system and the nature and distribution of life throughout, our personnel play a key role by providing highly specialized scientific, engineering, and technical services to conduct observational investigations, scientific research, and analytical laboratory services for astromaterials research.

Mission Services

We provide science mission and science service input to exploration planning. Our Exploration personnel are comprised of geologists, planetary scientists, aerospace engineers, geographic information science specialists, and computational scientists that provide services for Artemis science and planetary exploration for NASA.

We model the Orbital Debris Environment around the Earth for spacecraft impact risk assessments to prevent orbital debris impacts to manned spacecraft and assets on the ground, perform critical end-of-lifetime predictions for NASA-launched assets, provide ground-impact footprints and risk assessments for orbital object reentry and impact, and are involved in the development of mitigation techniques and practices to limit the generation of debris.

Earth surrounded by dots indicating existing orbital debris.
The MOON viewed from ISS with Solar Panel in Foreground


Astronauts have a unique vantage point from the International Space Station (ISS) to document Earth’s dynamic environment, including its geology, meteorology, geography, oceanography, and ecology. Our team, comprised of subject matter experts in remote sensing, Earth Science, geographic information science, data science, and planetary science, works with the crew on-board the ISS on a daily basis and analyzes and manages all ISS-generated images and those taken from other on-orbit satellites that give primary data of the state of the Earth. Our data scientists are using machine learning to enhance the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth database with additional labels and metadata for researchers and the public.