Lunar Samples

Between 1969 and 1972, six of NASA’s Apollo missions brought back a total of 2,196 specimens of soils, breccias, rocks and core samples from the surface of the Moon. These lunar samples are an irreplaceable legacy of the Apollo program, and the most extensive set of samples returned from the surface of another planetary body. For 45 years, this prestigious collection has been maintained and curated at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) and made accessible to the global research community.

Thousands of studies have been conducted on these samples which generated a vast body of data on their chemical, mineralogical and physical properties. These data have formed the basis of many new discoveries and insights, and they continue to be of fundamental relevance to solving many open scientific questions, such as the cause and timing of the Earth-Moon system, the origin of the lunar mantle and crust, the bombardment history of the solar system.

Ingestion of lunar sample data into AstroDB was completed in 2020 (AstroMat Phase 1). Additional data is added as new publications are released.

Search AstroMat's Lunar Sample Data


MoonDB was an online, quality-controlled data system that synthesized analytical data acquired on lunar samples to make them accessible in a single data product so they can be mined and integrated into digital research data infrastructure, thus augmenting their value for future science.

MoonDB preserved and restored lunar sample data that have been scattered across the scientific literature, in online PDF documents, and in private files, but it also serves as a home for new data generated on samples allocated to a global community of researchers by the Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial Materials (CAPTEM), so that these data can be made openly accessible in compliance with US federal mandates for open access to research results while being seamlessly integrated with the historical data.

The lunar sample data from MoonDB are now part of the Astromaterials Data System accessible via the AstroSearch application.

Lunar Geochron DB

Access the Lunar Geochron DB here

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