Professor Allain’s RSSEL group will examine surfaces of fine-grained bodies from asteroids and surrogate materials under simulated radiation exposure conditions created in IGNIS facility to decipher space weathering effects. Prof. Allain will examine lunar samples collected during the U.S. Apollo missions and surrogate minerals such as olivine, as well as samples from an asteroid mission the Japanese conducted in 2007 of the near-earth asteroid Itokawa.

The Planetary Science Institute has been awarded $5.5 million by NASA to be a research node of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) to advance basic and applied research for lunar and planetary science, and advance human exploration of the solar system. The node, known as the TREX toolbox emphasizes new areas that have not been well-studied. These include probing the properties of fine-grained particles at ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths.

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