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News

NatBonaAeronauticsand SpaceAdmimstralion

Lym:k)nB. Johrtson Space Cent_w' Houston,Texas77058 AC713 483-5111

Charles Redmond

ForRelease

RELEASE NO:

78-08

February lO. 1978

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER TO PROCESS PRISTINE METEORITE FRAGMENTS

The Johnson Space Center, Houston, has begun a new program for

receiving

and

processing

rare

and

pristine

meteorite

samples.

Until

quite recently a special program for meteorites has not been needed

because the meteorite fragments found had been contaminated by reactions

with the soil where they fell, by the effects of weather, and by the

often unsterile handling conditions once they had been recovered.

The new meteorite facility will handle a new, near-pristine,

meteorite

collection

fond

this

winter

near

McMurdo

Station,

in

the

Antarctic.

The first meteorite samples arrived at the space center on Saturday,

February ll, and were two 200-300 gram (baseball-sized) fragments

believed by the National Science Foundation to be rare carbonaceous

chondrites.

These

two

samples

could

contain

evidence

of

primordial

matter from our solar system.

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