The Jackson School of Geosciences recently hosted a VIP visitor: a pristine sample of lunar soil collected by astronauts during Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon.
Scientists from the Jackson School’s The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility (UTCT) lab were the first to get a look inside – and they did it all while preserving the sample’s untouched condition. The sample was brought to the lab by NASA’s Johnson Space Center Apollo curator Ryan Zeigler and Jackson School doctoral candidate Scott Eckley, who also manages Johnson’s X-ray CT lab.
They came to the Jackson School’s UTCT lab because of its ability to provide a high-resolution look – up to 12 microns per voxel – of every inch of the sample. This visualization will serve as a research tool and a record of the sample’s original state. The sample itself was opened for the first time by Johnson’s Apollo core processing team earlier this week.