Astrochemistry Laboratory (691) Local News Archive

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‘Asteroid City’ Cast Asks NASA About OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission

“Asteroid City” actors, including Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Hawke, Rupert Friend, Jake Ryan and Jeffrey Wright, join NASA OSIRIS-REx sample expert Dr. Danny Glavin to discuss how studying the asteroid sample will give scientists insight into how the early solar system formed and how life began on Earth.

Jason Dworkin (690) interviewed about OSIRIS-REx

Jason Dworkin (690), OSIRIS-REx Project Scientist, was recently interviewed and shared what’s in store for the long-awaited samples from Bennu.

Reggie Hudson awarded AAS's Laboratory Astrophysics Prize

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has awarded the 2023 Laboratory Astrophysics Prize to Dr. Reggie Hudson of the Goddard's Cosmic Ice Laboratory. It is given in recognition of his contributions to the understanding of the chemistry of ices in the interstellar medium and in the Solar System.

SSERVI Award Winners 2022

Recognizing that science and exploration go hand in hand, NASA created SSERVI in 2013 to advance human exploration of the Moon and other solar system destinations. The SSERVI Awards recognize outstanding achievement in exploration science and recipients have each made unique contributions to NASA’s human exploration efforts. SSERVI Award winners are nominated by their academic peers and are selected by a committee based at SSERVI’s central office. The awards will be presented along with invited lectures from the recipients at the 2022 NASA Exploration Science Forum (NESF) taking place July 19-21. It is our great pleasure to announce this year’s SSERVI award winners. Each is exceptionally deserving, and each is an outstanding member of our community, providing both exceptional science and strong leadership.

Susan Mahan Niebur Early Career Award: Dr. O.J. Tucker and Dr. Kelsey Young

Angioletta Coradini Mid-Career Award: Dr. Carolyn van der Bogert

Michael J. Wargo Exploration Science Award: Dr. Ben Bussey

Eugene Shoemaker Distinguished Scientist Medal Dr. Lisa Gaddis

Each of this year’s winners is exceptionally deserving, and it’s an honor to work with them to help further our great efforts as we get ever closer to what we all hope is a permanent presence on our Moon.

Poster Blowout 2019 is in the books!

photo of people at the poster party

Photos from this year's Poster Blowout are available now. Congratulations to everyone, especially this year's winners!

What Gives the Great Red Spot Its Color?

The source of the Great Red Spot's distinctive color remains a mystery, but work done in the Astrobiology Analytical Lab suggests that ammonium hydrosulfide salt could play a role.

Poster Blowout 2018

Note from the Director:
I would like to thank the Director’s Science Committee for putting on an amazingly successful event where scientists and engineers across Goddard shared their work and made new contacts. The interdisciplinary interactions were especially exciting and crossed all four science disciplines.

Click the title of this news item or the image below for more images from the poster party. scientists standing in front of a poster

Astrobiology Analytical Lab in Science News

In Goddard's Astrobiology Analytical Lab, identification of extraterrestrial molecules begins with "meteorite tea." Samples come from many sources, including Antarctic meteorite-hunting expeditions.

Summer 2018 Astrobiology Research Opportunity for Undergraduates

Applications are being accepted for Undergraduate Research Associates in Astrobiology, an intensive 10-week program in which students will work with scientists in the Goddard Center for Astrobiology at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This is a residential program for undergraduates, with housing at the University of Maryland College Park. Participants will be paid a stipend and given a modest travel allowance. Program dates: May 29 to Aug. 3, 2018. Applications due: Jan. 26, 2018. For more information and an application, click here.

Science Jamboree event photos

The 2016 Science Jamboree was a great success! A collection of 50 photos from the event are available now.

Library of Congress Lecture on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission

Jason P. Dworkin, chief of Goddard's Astrochemistry Laboratory gave a free lecture on May 24 at the Library of Congress about NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, which is scheduled to launch on Sept. 8, 2016.

Paul Mahaffy Named Director of the Solar System Exploration Division

Paul Mahaffy has been named the new Director of Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division. Paul served for nearly 10 years as Chief of the Planetary Environments Laboratory, leading this group’s study of planetary atmospheres and surface environments with emphases on the modeling of atmospheres and surface environments, advanced instrument development, the study of terrestrial planetary analogs, and the development of space-qualified instruments. Paul is currently Principal Investigator of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Curiosity rover and of the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) on the MAVEN Mars orbiter. He previously participated in a wide range of planetary missions, including those to Jupiter, Saturn, comets, and the moon.

Goddard Lab Chief Earns 2015 Maryland Chemist Award

Jason Dworkin, chief of Goddard's Astrochemistry Laboratory, is receiving the 2015 Maryland Chemist Award on Dec. 9. The award is given each year by the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society for outstanding achievement in pure or applied chemistry, chemical engineering or chemical education.

Anne Kinney wins a Presidential Rank Award

Anne Kinney received a 2012 Presidential Rank Award (Meritorious Executive). These awards are given to high-performing senior career employees for "sustained extraordinary accomplishment." Executives from across Government are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by citizen panels, and designated by the President. Winners of these awards are deemed to be strong leaders, professionals, or scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.

NASA Science Pioneer: Bertram Donn (1919 - 2012)

Dr. Bertram "Bert" Donn, the first head of NASA Goddard's astrochemistry group, passed away on Friday December 28, 2012 at age 93. Bert helped put Goddard science on the map in the early days, both within and beyond NASA. He also was influential in starting two lab efforts at Goddard and in hiring some of our better-known scientists.
Reggie Hudson

To Earth and Back Podcast from Big Picture Science

We are all Martians … or could be, if, billions of years ago, Red Plant microbes fell to Earth and eventually evolved to us. Okay, that one’s a big “if.” But microbes can survive space travel. Aaron Burton is a guest on this podcast.
Aaron Burton

"Cosmic Front"

Danny Glavin appeared on "Cosmic Front" discussing Stardust and meteorite organics on NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation

"Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman"

Mike Callahan appeared on "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman" discussing meteoritic nucleobases on the Science Channel show.
Alternate URL:

Bill Nye visits Astrobiology Lab

Bill Nye, the Executive Director of The Planetary Society, came and toured Goddard. He also visited the Astrobiology Lab here in Code 691.

Congratulations to the OSIRIS-REx Team!

Today we heard that the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security - Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission was selected as the next New Frontiers class mission. OSIRIS-Rex is a sample return mission to an asteroid that will launch in 2016, and spend over a year exploring 1999 RQ36, acquire samples while providing geologic context, and return to Earth in 2023. GSFC will manage the mission and provide the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) instrument.

New Scientist Joins the Astrochemistry Lab



Dr. Sarah Noble recently joined Goddard's Astrochemistry Laboratory as a new civil servant. She comes from the Marshall Space Flight Center to study space weathering of lunar regolith, with an ongoing collaboration with the Johnson Space Center. Furthermore, Dr. Noble will be assisting with the work of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters.

Nucleic Acid Chemist Joins the Astrochemistry Laboratory



Dr. Aaron Burton, a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, recently joined the Astrochemistry Laboratory at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He is working on improving the detection and analysis of chiral compounds in the Analytical Astrobiology Laboratory. Dr. Burton is an expert in nucleic acid catalysis and molecular evolution.

Astrochemists Featured in NASA Videos

Three Goddard astrochemists recently have been featured in NASA news videos. The links below will carry you to each story.

Picture of Jamie Elsila Cook
Dr. Jamie
Elsila Cook

Picture of Jason Dworkin
Dr. Jason

Picture of Joe Nuth
Dr. Joseph

Radio Astronomer Joins Astrochemistry Laboratory

Dr. Eva Wirström recently joined the Astrochemistry Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as a post-doctoral research scientist. She will work in the Astrochemistry Theory and Observation Group. Dr. Wirström is an expert in radioastronomy specializing in the isotopic fractionation of interstellar molecules and in searches for new organic species.

Astrochemists and Their Research Featured in "Tech Trends"

The Winter 2010 issue of Goddard's "Tech Trends" newsletter has articles on both our Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory and the OSIRIS-REx mission. The newsletter is available in the Adobe (pdf) format here.

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