Established contemporary conservation methods within the fields of Natural and Cultural Heritage encourage an interdisciplinary approach to preservation of heritage material (both tangible and intangible) that holds "Outstanding Universal Value" for our global community. NASA's lunar samples were acquired from the moon for the primary purpose of intensive scientific investigation. These samples, however, also invoke cultural significance, as evidenced by the millions of people per year that visit lunar displays in museums and heritage centers around the world. Being both scientifically and culturally significant, the lunar samples require a unique conservation approach. Government mandate dictates that NASA's Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office develop and maintain protocols for "documentation, preservation, preparation and distribution of samples for research, education and public outreach" for both current and future collections of astromaterials. Documentation, considered the first stage within the conservation methodology, has evolved many new techniques since curation protocols for the lunar samples were first implemented, and the development of new documentation strategies for current and future astromaterials is beneficial to keeping curation protocols up to date. We have developed and tested a comprehensive non-destructive documentation technique using high-resolution image-based 3D reconstruction and X-ray CT (XCT) data in order to create interactive 3D models of lunar samples that would ultimately be served to both researchers and the public. These data enhance preliminary scientific investigations including targeted sample requests, and also provide a new visual platform for the public to experience and interact with the lunar samples. We intend to serve these data as they are acquired on NASA's Astromaterials Acquisistion and Curation website at http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/. Providing 3D interior and exterior documentation of astromaterial samples addresses the increasing demands for accessability to data and contemporary techniques for documentation, which can be realized for both current collections as well as future sample return missions.
Computer Programming and Software; Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference; 16-20 Mar. 2015; The Woodlands, TX; United States