Possible comet samples : The NASA Cosmic Dust Program

Clanton, U.S., Gooding, J.L., McKay, D.S., Mackinnon, I.D.R., Isaacs, A.M., Nace, G.A., Gabel, E.M., Warren, J.L., & Dardano, C.B. (1982) Possible comet samples : The NASA Cosmic Dust Program. In Twelfth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston Texas, USA, pp. 109-110.

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Abstract

Beginning in 1974, a limited effort to collect extraterrestrial dust samples from the stratosphere using impactors mounted on NASA U-2 aircraft was initiated at NASA Ames Research Center (1). Subsequent studies (e.g. 1-9) have clearly established an extraterrestrial origin for some of the material. Attrition of comets is considered to be one of the potential sources of extraterrestrial dust(1,5). Additionally, some of the particles appear to represent a type of primitive material not represented in meteorite collections. In order to provide a greater availability of these samples to the scientific community, NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC) began in May of 1981 a program dedicated to the systematic collection and curation of cosmic dust for scientific investigation. Collections were made at 18 to 20 km altitude by means of collectors mounted under the wings of a WB57F. When the aircraft reaches operating altitude, the collector plates (impactors) are extended into the ambient airstream with the collection surface normal to the airflow. To prevent particles from bouncing off the surface, the impactors are coated with a film of high viscosity silicone oil. The impactors are sealed in canisters to minimize contamination when not collecting.

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ID Code: 58805
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: comet samples, cosmic dust collection, stratospheric dust
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Extraterrestrial Geology (040302)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1982 Lunar and Planetary Institute
Deposited On: 03 Apr 2013 00:47
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2013 07:24

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