Lunar Planetary Science Conference 2014, Houston.

It’s been a little while since my last update but once again that’s because life has been busy and this was mostly related to the LPSC 2014 conference that I attended last week over in Houston, Texas. It was my 4th time at this conference and the 3rd time I’ve presented a talk there. This year my talk wasn’t scheduled for Friday afternoon which was really great because it meant I got it out of the way on Tuesday and so I could relax and enjoy the rest of the week not worrying about my talk. I think my talk went well though, I got lots of positive┬áfeedback from other scientists and lots of interest in the data that I presented about the comet dust I’d analysed. This particular piece of comet dust forms a large component of a paper I’ve just submitted too so I’m pleased scientists are interested in it.

The conference itself was really great as usual. On the first Sunday I went to a special session about the Moon and I got to hear two Apollo astronauts speak (Dave Scott and Harrison Schmitt). They were both so inspiring to listen to and we heard some really funny anecdotes about the Moon. How lucky these guys are to have experienced that. I wonder if anyone in my lifetime will ever set foot on the Moon, or any other planets, again. I sadly think not! What did interest me though was how much geology training these guys went through. I’d assumed they were ‘just’ amazing test pilots (apart from Schmitt who was a geologist of course) but it seems that their geology training on the Apollo programme really instilled a passion in them for the rocks. Well, who wouldn’t get excited about rocks?! ­čśë

Anyway, future Moon landings set aside, there’s plenty of great space science still going on and the LPSC conference just confirms how active the science community is and how many different and new areas we’re finding to exploit to find out more about the Solar System in which we live. I can’t wait for next year but I guess this means I better get back to the research now so I have something new to present.

So, this week has been spent getting over the jet lag and lab planning for the NanoSIMS. Unfortunately this instrument doesn’t run itself and it’s due some more feeding now so we’ve been planning the projects that need time on it over the next few months. Some new users get to experience the ‘joy’ of running the NanoSIMS soon so I hope they get some great data soon to kick off the real analysis phase of their projects. Looks like I’ll be back on┬áthe instrument┬áMonday running tests in preparation to analyse the Hayabusa asteroid samples!! No rest for the wicked ­čÖé