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News from this group


July Larry's last paper,  "Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater", will appear in Nature magazine July 7th issue.
June June 24, Memorial celebration for Dr. Larry A. Haskin at Washington University

Two manuscripts with Larry as co-author, reporting the detailed study of sulfate deposition in subsurface regolith at deep trenches and potential existence of phyllosilicates in Wooly Patch outcrop at Gusev, were submitted to J. Geophysical Research - Planets.

Ben Greenhagen, successfully defended his research paper, got his Master degree!

March We lost Larry ....., the sadness is unspeakable.

Five members of the research group participated the 36th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at Houston.

January Alian, and Brad attend the MMRS-MSL debriefing at NASA-HQ at Washington DC.  They learned that MMRS was ranked the highest category "I", with summary scores of "High" in all three evaluated areas including Science merit, Science Implementation, and Technical, Management, and Cost (TMC), and overall risk rating of "low". The only reason for its non-selection is the budget limitation of MSL mission.

Alian, and Brad attend Athena Science team meeting at JPL at January 24-25  2005,  post one-year anniversary for Spirit and celebrated one-year anniversary for Opportunity with all science and engineer team members. They gave two talks at the team meeting about the science discoveries by both rovers.

6 abstracts from this group (with group members as first author) were submitted to Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference of this year.


January -- December Larry , Alian, and Brad arrive at JPL at January 2  2004, joined by other member of Athena science team, witnessed the successful landing of two Mars rovers: Spirit and Opportunity  at Gusev crater and Meridiani plain on Mars. They immediate went into the operations for surface exploration. 

Both rovers and their science and engineer team achieved successful primary mission (90 sols), extended mission (180 sols), extended-extended mission (270 sols), one-year anniversaries, and are still doing great science now!


October Larry and Brad will join other science team members for a dual PORT at JPL. They will operate two test rovers at the same time --- just like what we will do in January 2004 for the twin rovers on Mars! 
September Alian  participated the 2003 MEPAG meeting at JPL.  She presented two posters: one was on the development of MMRS, another was about "Wheel-Science", related to the development of two "Contact Survey" instruments.
August Alian went to JPL again. She attended a flight school (sounds exciting!) and then PORT three -- Post-launch Operation Readiness Test. 
July Alian and Brad attended the 6th International Conference on Mars at Caltech. Alian presented a poster on the development of MMRS
June Larry, Alian, Brad, and their families all went to Florida Cocoa Beach for MER science team meeting,  and for MER-B (opportunity) launch from Kennedy Space Center.
May Larry, Alian, and Brad participated the Thread Test H of Mars Exploration Rover at JPL.
April Dr. Shiv Sharma from University of Hawaii brought his Remote-Raman telescope unit to St. Louis. We coupled the Raman signal from his unit into the spectrograph of MMRS_BB1d, and get excellent spectra (photos).
March All members of research group attended 34th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at Houston. We presented 6 talks and 7 posters.

Larry and Alian attended "Life beyond Mars" workshop at Phoenix. They presented MMRS to exobiology community

Alian went to National Ice Core Lab (Denver), with Lonne Lane and Ken Manatt from JPL,  they conducted the first cold test of MMRS at -24C. It functions very well (photos).

February MMRS team hold a "Show and Tell" at JPL. 23 managers, scientists, and engineers came to see our Advanced Brassboard of MMRS (photos).
January Larry , Alian, and Brad went to Pasadena attending '03 Athena Science team meeting. They also visited MMRS engineering team at JPL. 

13 abstracts were submitted to 2003 LPSc.


October Alian went to FACSS meeting at Providence, RI.  She took the chance visited the IR lab of Prof. Carle Pieters at Brown University, and had a great discussion with her.

Alian went to JPL to have a comprehensive testing of the newly finished advanced brassboard of MMRS. Its performance is significant superiors than previous breadboard 1D


Randy, Brad, Jeff, and Ryan attended “The Moon Beyond 2002:  Next Steps in Lunar Science and Exploration” meeting in Taos New Mexico from September 12-14.  Presentations were made by Randy, a review of data and observations for the 3.9 Ga age of the Nectaris Basin; Brad, a whole-Moon chemical mass balance calculation for Th and Al; and Jeff, an analysis of remotely sensed data of Mare Australe. They went for a great field trip too.

The new near-mid IR spectrometer Nexus 670 from Nicolet was installed in MD 056.

August Larry, Brad, and Alian jointed 2002FIDO field test activity.  They also showed the MMRS brassboard to members of MER science team (photos).

Larry and Alian went to JPL to test the performances of the Advanced Breadboard of MMRS, it was also  called "Demo Model on Earth" (photos)

A few photos inside of the assembling and testing room of MER03 rovers, taken during last JPL trip.

June A Near-mid IR spectrometer was ordered as part of ASTID project. It will arrive in August.
May The advanced brassboard model of MMRS is entering its final assemblage stage at JPL. It is a beauty! (Photo)
March Whole group went to Houston for 32th LPSc. We presented  four talks and nine posters. Miss Flor, a student of Kirkwood High School, also presented a poster on her summer research project with Jeff.
January Larry and Alian went to Pasadena attending '02 Athena Science team meeting (photo). They also visited MMRS engineering team at JPL and saw the miniaturized electronics for MMRS as the first time (photo).


December 16 abstracts were submitted to 2002 LPSC, 14 of them are first authored by our group members. Isn't it nice not to have LPSC abstracts hanging over our heads this X-mas?
August Larry and Alian attend the MEPAG workshop at Pasadena, CA (photo).   Larry talked about some guidlines for  Mars on-surface exploration and sample-return missions. Alian presented the current status of Mars Microbeam Raman spectrometer (link).

Optical fiber cold test get preliminary excellent  results. The light throughput losses are <1% for stretching and bending motion at -77C, the light losses for 230 degree twisting motions at -50C are <9%. (photos)

Larry and Alian attend the MER-FIDO rover field test, first at JPL and then at field test site.  Through the test, they learned how to function as a "remote" field geologist (photos).

At home, Brad prepared the rock samples for parallel TES, APXS, and Mossbauer measurements. Karla worked on the thin section observations and Raman measurements of the same set of samples.

April Larry and Alian went to JPL attending the second Mars Yard MER-FIDO rover test (photos)
March The further test on new BB1d shows that it has >20% sensitivity of a laboratory Raman system (Kaiser HoloLab5000-532nm). It has a depth of sampling field +- 5mm on a calcite crystal. It provided 100% informative spectra from a set of   point-counting measurements on a dark-colored basalt rock.  Good spectra from a fine grained epsomite-quartz  "pseudodoricrust", and from an ancient chert sample of very low C concentration (~50 ppm) were also obtained.

All seven members of the research group went to Houston for 32nd Lunar & Planetary Science conference. We presented six talks and five posters, all were very successful (photos).

February Ken and Chris from JPL engineering team come to WashU. They install the new filters into the BB1d. The premary test shows a great increase of sensitivity of the system. We are very exciting. (photos)
January We again beat the deadline  for abstract submission to the 32st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference with 18 abstracts. Twelve of them are about lunar geology and geochemistry, and six of them are about in-situ planetary Raman spectroscopy. The last one (Jeff's) was entered just 6 minutes after the LPI submittal site closed. The abstracts can be found at our publications link.

Larry and Alian attended the Science team meeting of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission (2003) in Pasadena. They gave a seminar entitled "Determining past Martian environments with the Mars Microbeam Raman Spectrometer" at JPL.  They also saw good progress in testing of the optical fibers for the Mars Microbeam Raman Spectrometer (MMRS).


October Larry, Randy and Brad attended the meeting   "New View of the Moon III"  at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.
September Alian and Larry attended the first Science Team meeting of newly selected Mars Exploration Rover mission in Pasadena.

Alian presented an invited talk about our study of Martian meteorite EETA79001 at the FACSS meeting in Nashville.

August Alian and Larry as members of the Raman science team and JPL engineers working with them presented the case for including the Athena Raman Spectrometer on the 2003 MER missions to the rover engineers in an emergency meeting at JPL.
July July 6-13,  Larry and Alian gave talks on the Athena Raman Spectrometer at the University of Hawaii at the invitation of Dr. S. Sharma. From there, they went to the big island to attend the IUMAS_2000 meeting where they gave talks on the same subject at the invitation of the International  Microbeam Analysis Society. They also visited Volcanoes National Park, where Alian got her first close look at volcanic terrain.

July 18-20, Larry, Brad and Alian attended the workshop "Concepts and Approaches for the robotic exploration of Mars" at the LPI in Houston.   Larry talked about  "Why send the Athena Raman spectrometer to Mars?", Alian talked about "The Athena Raman spectrometer", and Brad talked about "Remotely-sensed geology from lander-based to orbital perspectives: results of FIDO rover field tests".

April Larry and Alian went to JPL twice for evaluation tests of two breadboard instruments, Athena Raman system BB1C and BB1D.

All members of our research group went to Houston for 31st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. We gave XX talks and presented YY posters.

January We somehow beat the deadline for submission by e-mail of 15 abstracts for the 31st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. The last one (Jeff's) was entered just 2 minutes before the site closed. Preparing these conference abstracts is a frantic way to start a new year, but we do it every year, anyway. The abstracts can be found at our publications link.


December A new graduate student, Kathleen Abbott, joined our research group
October We finished the performance tests of the BB1b breadboard that we acquired in August. We were sorry to see this cute little system leave our laboratory. Development work is continuing at JPL.
August The miniaturized breadboard of our Raman instrument for Athena, BB1b, came to our lab at Wash. U. from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
May-August Larry and Alian went to JPL several times to help with the development and initial testing of the first miniaturized "breadboard" of our Raman spectrometer system for the Athena instrument package. It is known by the unsophisticated name of BB1b.
May Larry Haskin went to JPL and to Cornell U. for meetings concerned with Mars sample collection and Athena team business.
April We’ve got visitors ! Dr. Paul Lucey and Dr. Shiv Sharma from Hawaii University. Paul gave a talk about the 1997 Clementine mission that provided lunar remote sensing. Recently, Paul and Brad Jolliff have been collaborating using data from both lunar remote sensing and lunar samples to develop a better calibration for the iron and titanium concentrations as obtained from the Clementine data using methods pioneered by Paul. Shiv is an excellent spectroscopist who has done a lot of Raman studies on minerals. He and Alian plan to collaborate in the area of planetary Raman spectroscopy.

Alian went to JPL for further Athena Raman BB1b development work during the last two weeks of April. She had a good time there.

March Six members of the research group went to Houston during the week of March 15-19 for the 30th Lunar & Planetary Sciences Conference. We presented 5 talks and 3 posters, and met lots of old friends. It made all the preparations, which are certainly not the most fun part of our jobs, all worthwhile.

Okay, we had a lot of fun in Houston. Our talks and posters went well. In addition, we met some "historic" members of Larry Haskin's research group (see the photo in our photo album). Jeff organized a team for the Chili Cookoff. His team won an award for the most unusual chili. (Why was the trophy a turkey?) 

February Our back-scattering Mössbauer spectrometer is installed in our lab in McDonnell Hall. It has a 50 mCi 57Co source (for 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy) and two 13 mm2 PIN diode detectors. We are measuring our first sample -- a hematite slab. We expect to operate this spectrometer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Now that winter, 1999 is almost over, the air-conditioning in most of our offices and labs in Wilson Hall is finally operating. Now, our Raman spectrometer is back in our Wilson Hall lab and ready to carry out more measurements on rocks and meteorites.

January Whew! We somehow met the deadline for abstract submission to the 30th Lunar & Planetary Science Conference in Houston. We are pleasantly surprised that our group members authored or coauthored 17 abstracts. Ten of them are about lunar geology and geochemistry, and four of them are about in-situ planetary Raman spectroscopy. We are all still friends despite a hectic time of preparing abstracts in rooms without heat!


December Our laboratory Raman spectrometer was upgraded to a two-frequency system; it can be used with either a 632.8nm (He-Ne laser) or a 532nm (YAG laser). We have installed it temporarily in McDonnell Hall until renovations to our Raman lab in Wilson Hall are finished.

In fact, most of our offices and labs are in uncomfortable condition until the new air-conditioning system becomes operational. Right now, these rooms are very chilly, you have to wear a winter coat to work in them.

November A back-scattering Mössbauer spectrometer was delivered to our group. It was built at the Johnson Space Center by Dr. Dick Morris.

New graduate student Ryan A. Zeigler joined our research group.

October Dr. Jeffrey Gillis, recently graduated from Rice University, joined our group as photogeologist.
June Ms. Karla Kuebler, from Hap McSween’s group University of Tennessee (Knoxville), joined our research group to become our Specialist for Raman spectroscopy and neutron activation analysis.

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