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From Study Hall to NASA Lab

Earlier this week, some junior high school students participated in a live NASA webinar! The webinar, “Stardust Mission & Virtual Tour of NASA’s Stardust Curation Lab” was hosted by Mr. Amidon, who is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

After viewing a preliminary PowerPoint outlining the mission, the group participated in the live webinar, touring the Curation Lab and seeing the tools and materials used by its scientists. The scientists also shared some insights about how they started their careers, and offered advice on what students interested in their own careers in science can do in pursuit of that goal. They even answered the group’s question live, during the tour!

The Stardust Mission proper sent a craft into space for the purpose of capturing pieces of dust from a comet’s tail in an aerogel matrix. It also captured dust particles from outside of our solar system. The probe then returned to Earth, where the captured dust has been studied by scientists for over 10 years. The images show some of the gel samples shown during the webinar (the marks inside the cubes are the dust that was collected).

image from the curation lab
a different image from the nasa curation lab
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