Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 11, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick scholar Juliane Gross  is available to discuss the untouched lunar rock and soil sample collected during the Apollo 17 mission and opened last week in Houston. Gross was one of three women scientists who opened the pristine sample.

“It was such a humbling experience to be part of this and totally nerve-wracking because we couldn’t make any mistakes,” said Gross, an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences. “But it was absolutely mind-blowing and so exciting at the same time.

“It was hard and awkward to open and extrude the core since everything had to be done inside a nitrogen-gas filled glovebox and we wore big gloves that made it hard to feel and grab tools,” said Gross, who works with lunar rocks collected during Apollo missions and studies the lunar crust. “But we had practiced a lot with a practice glovebox, so we worked really well together and all went smoothly with opening and extruding the core.”

Gross is available at [email protected]


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Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.