Nina Welding | December 11, 2017
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has selected Clive R. Neal, professor of civil & environmental engineering & earth sciences at the University of Notre Dame, as a member of the committee studying Extraterrestrial Sample Analysis Facilities for the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences.
In light of the diverse extraterrestrial samples expected to be collected in the coming decade, this expert panel of 11 scientists and engineers is tasked with analyzing the following for NASA:
• What laboratory facilities and capabilities are needed to support the Planetary Science Division of NASA and its partners for the analysis and curation of existing [and future] extraterrestrial samples? If these facilities exist, where are they currently located?
• If these facilities/capabilities do not exist, what would be the ideal strategy for creating and locating these facilities in order to address current and future needs?
• What are some of the steps NASA should take to ensure that it can stay abreast of evolving techniques and technologies to remain at the forefront of extraterrestrial sample analysis?
Instrumental in developing the Lunar Exploration Roadmap for the NASA Advisory Council, Neal has been involved in numerous other NASA review panels and in the study of the Moon since 1986. His research explores the origin and evolution of the Moon (focusing on the petrology and geochemistry of returned samples coupled with geophysics and other remotely sensed datasets), geophysical instrumentation and investigations of the Moon, formation of impact melts, and more basalt petrogenesis.