My primary research interests are in the laboratory analysis and scientific implications of extraterrestrial materials, including meteorites and interplanetary dust particles. I am very interested in presolar grains in meteorites and in the development of new techniques for isotopic analysis and mapping of small samples. I am actively involved in the analysis of cometary samples returned by NASA's STARDUST mission and solar wind samples returned by the GENESIS mission.

Click here for more information about presolar grains (very old site).

Planetary Missions

I also work on X-ray and Gamma-ray spectrometers for planetary missions. NASA's MESSENGER mission is the first spacecraft to visit the planet Mercury since 1975. It flew by the planet 3 times before its successful orbit insertion on March 18, 2011. It has been orbiting he planet for more than two years and is in is second extended mission. I was named Deputy PI of the mission in 2012.

Larry R. Nittler; Last updated April 4, 2014