Astrobiology AcupunctureNovember 27, 2014 / Written by: Aaron Gronstal
Researchers have turned to acupuncture in order to study samples from rough and uneven surfaces, such as rocks and meteorites. Using the technique, scientists have developed a robotic system that can collect samples from these non-planar surfaces.
The system uses a 3-D camera mounted on a robotic arm to map the irregular surface of an object. Then an acupuncture needle pokes and probes a tiny spot selected by the scientists. A minuscule amount of material is collected at the tip of the needle and is carried by the robotic arm to a mass spectrometer.
The work was supported by the Center for Chemical Evolution, a joint program from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA Astrobiology Program. Initial funding came from a NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Instrument Development Program grant.
- The NASA Astrobiology Institute Concludes Its 20-year Tenure
- Global Geomorphologic Map of Titan
- Molecular Cousins Discovered on Titan
- Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research (ICAR)
- The NASA Astrobiology Science Forum Talks Now on YouTube
- The NASA Astrobiology Science Forum: The Origin, Evolution, Distribution and Future of Astrobiology
- Alternative Earths
- Drilling for Rock-Powered Life
- Imagining a Living Universe
- Workshops Without Walls: Astrovirology