1. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
    Moves
    52617
    23 Jul '18 23:15
    https://www.sciencealert.com/nearly-all-of-nasa-s-moon-rocks-have-never-been-studied-by-scientists

    I can say I touched one. When I worked at Goddard I found out the guy living next door where we lived in Alexandria Va and I got to talking and we found out we both worked at Goddard (pretty amazing for sure for two people randomly living next door to each other would be working in the same place 50 miles away).

    So he turned out to be the dude who sliced up the moon rocks to be analysed by the scientists, his job title was 'geological technician' and I was an Apollo tech, so he invited me to the lab where they did that work.

    There was a vault holding the moon rocks and it would not have been out of place at fort Knox, massive affair.
    So they invited me inside and I was in awe.
    So he picks up a moon rock and hands it to me.
    I am like a bit shaking, and I said, why would you let me hold this rock in my bare hands?

    He said the outside of the rocks were contaminated the moment the boxes were open and Earth air got on the surfaces but that didn't matter since they used a diamond saw in a cleanroom and sawed up slices to be analyzed so the contamination of the outer surface didn't matter.
    What an amazing day that was for me! I saw ALL of the rocks that had been collected by 1971.
  2. SubscriberWOLFE63
    Tra il dire e il far
    C'e di mezzo il mar!
    Joined
    06 Nov '15
    Moves
    16647
    24 Jul '18 05:411 edit
    Originally posted by @sonhouse
    https://www.sciencealert.com/nearly-all-of-nasa-s-moon-rocks-have-never-been-studied-by-scientists

    I can say I touched one. When I worked at Goddard I found out the guy living next door where we lived in Alexandria Va and I got to talking and we found out we both worked at Goddard (pretty amazing for sure for two people randomly living next door to each ...[text shortened]... r.
    What an amazing day that was for me! I saw ALL of the rocks that had been collected by 1971.
    That is pretty cool. What was the substance of the rocks? Were there different types?

    I remember watching the moon landings as a youth. I recall the thought of how many generations of humanity had passed without having that privilege. It was historic and special.

    I hope to live long enough to see a Mars landing. 🙂
  3. SubscriberPonderable
    chemist
    Linkenheim
    Joined
    22 Apr '05
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    514244
    24 Jul '18 10:36
    In fact I think that we don't really learn a lot of the rocks untouched. People on the ground did sort through the samples and analysed the promising ones.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
    Moves
    52617
    24 Jul '18 14:581 edit
    Originally posted by @ponderable
    In fact I think that we don't really learn a lot of the rocks untouched. People on the ground did sort through the samples and analysed the promising ones.
    In a follow up on the rocks, I had an interview with the engineer at Goddard who invented X-ray analysis of electron microscopes which up to that point only resulted in images.
    He used an x-ray detector and made a curved support he could set up the detector at a particular angle which detected an individual isotope of most elements. How he did it ATT only for individual isotopes because the x-ray came off the sample at a specific angle for each isotope. So he detected that pulse of x rays and modulated the 'Z' axis of the video, which turned out to be brightness. So he tuned the signal to increase the brightness of the signal from the part of the sample set up to detect some element, say aluminum.
    So the places that had aluminum in the moon rock sample would stick out much brighter than the surrounding stuff.
    He needed an assistant and I applied for the job and he accepted me. That would have put me in the beginning of an electron microscope revolution.
    However, his budget people, being total assswipes, cut his budget by $20,000 which was to be my salary. So he could not hire me and I missed out on a new technology. Sigh. The electron microscope we used at one of my companies I worked for, a start up in South Plainfield NJ had that tech, but that was like 2005 or so. I thought his idea was absolutely brilliant and the sad part is I can't even remember his name.
    Now that technology is all automated and analyses most AMU stuff simultaneously.
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