NASA news: Scientists studying ‘UNIQUE’ Mars meteorite found on Earth | Science | News


NASA and the US Army are analysing meteorites from Mars to gain new information on the workings of the Red Planet. One of the specimens, named ‘Black Beauty’, is over 2 billion years old and contains water, making it unique from the rest. Fascinating footage shows scientists from the Army Research Laboratory using CT scans to look deep inside metal and rock, and create 3D high quality images. ‘Black Beauty’ is about the size of a baseball and weighs approximately half a pound.

Army Materials Engineer Dr Jennifer Sietens explains: “What’s unique about Black Beauty is that it’s one of the oldest martian meteorites that has been discovered on Earth.

“It has been proven to have some evidence of water, that’s what makes it so special.

“I think there is a lot of benefits that the collaboration between NASA and ARL can provide.

“In the bigger picture, ARL is now also supporting the national space policy. That’s helping to advance the mission of going back to the moon and Mars.

“So in that regard ARL is helping a much bigger picture of advancing science.

“With the x-ray CT scan we can non-destructively identify voids and defects, so just cracks, within the material prior to testing.”

Referring to the first time she saw the martian meteorites, Dr Sietens said: “We met in a conference room and they took it out, and we were all able to put on gloves and hold it so that was really neat.

“It’s just amazing that this came from another planet and we can hold it in our hand.”

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NASA Goddard Chief Scientist Dr Jim Garvin said: “Science is really intrinsically collaborative because even just the peer review process that allows us to publish our work requires our peers to understand what we are doing.

“Not just from a written page or computer screen, and so collaboration I think starts at birth in science.

“So we are working together with new measurement techniques that measure the previously unmeasured in things that we are barely understanding, is the best way to go.

“Space is a big place and there’s a lot of work to be done.”



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