Sample Preparation

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Antarctic Meteorite Sample Preparation

Materials Used to Process and Store Meteorites

At JSC, the meteorite samples are prepared several different ways and can be requested accordingly. Most samples are prepared as chips, obtained either by use of stainless steel chisels in a chipping bowl or using rock splitters. Tools, sample containers, and bags are made of stainless steel, aluminum, Teflon, or nylon. Polyvials are also used as sample containers — polystyrene vials with polyethylene lids. In cases where a meteorite will be subdivided into many pieces for scientific studies, the samples are cut dry on a bandsaw, producing a 1– to 2–cm thick slab. For more information about these samples, see the complete listing of meteorites that have been cut or slabbed at JSC, along with details about sawing and possible effects on samples.

Stainless Steel chipping bowls, hammer, and chisels Stainless Steel chipping bowls, hammer, and chisels Rock Splitter
Stainless steel chipping bowls, hammer, and chisels (left and center) and rock splitter (right) are used to process Antarctic meteorites in the US collection at NASA Johnson Space Center.