AstroMat is a NASA-funded, state-of-the-art digital data infrastructure for laboratory data generated by the study of extraterrestrial samples curated in NASA’s Astromaterials Collections. AstroMat’s mission is to maximize the utility and impact of these data for science and education.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center is home to the world’s most diverse, extensive, and precious collection of astromaterials with >250,000 numbered samples of extraterrestrial materials that have been collected and returned to Earth by spacecraft missions or arrived on Earth naturally. For more than 40 years, NASA’s Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (AACO) has made these samples available to the global research community. Thousands of laboratory studies have been conducted on the samples to describe and analyze their chemical, physical, and mineralogical properties and generated unique data of high value. Currently, these data are widely dispersed across decades of scientific publications and conference abstracts, and are difficult to find, access, and reuse.
The Astromaterials Data System (AstroMat) will make analytical astromaterials data easily accessible to scientists world-wide, and enable new ways of mining and analyzing these data leading to the creation of new knowledge. AstroMat will ensure the long-term utility and impact of these data, thus maximizing the scientific return of NASA’s investment into sample return missions, sample curation, and data acquisition on these samples.
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