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NPD 7100.10E
Effective Date: February 11, 2003
Expiration Date: May 31, 2016
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials (Revalidated 01/10/2008)

Responsible Office: Science Mission Directorate


This NPD sets forth the basic policy for the curation of extraterrestrial materials and for their related programmatic management, control, and operations. Natural materials returned from extraterrestrial environments represent a unique and limited national resource and an important legacy to future generations. Accordingly:

a. A vigorous and effective program of analysis, description, and other scientific and technical research on these materials shall be pursued to derive maximum scientific or technological information from them.

b. The use of these materials shall be used under special allocation, coordination, and managerial control to ensure the optimum benefits to sciences, technology, education, public information, and the interests of the United States.

c. A representative sample of the extraterrestrial materials shall be stored in as undisturbed a condition as possible for studies that may be carried out in the indefinite future.


This NPD applies to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers.


a. 42 U.S.C. 2473 (c), Section 203 (c) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended.

b. NPR 1000.3, the NASA Organization.


JSC Policy Directive 7100.1F.


a. The Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), or designee is responsible for issuing and ensuring implementation of this policy. The Associate Administrator of SMD or designee, shall also be responsible for the following:

(1) Selection of scientific and technological investigations and investigators using extraterrestrial materials, in accordance with current NASA Research Announcements (NRA's) issued by OSS or to meet programmatic requirements.

(2) Approval of the allocation of extraterrestrial materials for approved scientific and technological investigations, education and public display, and to meet other NASA programmatic requirements.

(3) Preparation of budgets, development of long-range plans, and maintenance of appropriate balance between elements of the program.

(4) With the concurrence of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), approval of engineering biological and physical investigations, using extraterrestrial materials in support of the human exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

(5) Interaction with other NASA offices or the exercise of other responsibilities as may be necessary to maintain and protect the extraterrestrial material.

b. The Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), or designee, is responsible for selecting engineering biological and physical investigations using extraterrestrial materials in support of NASA's human exploration, in accordance with current NRA's issued by ESMD or to meet programmatic requirements.

c. The Chief Health and Medical Officer, or designee, is responsible for selecting health and medical investigations in support of human space flight using extraterrestrial materials, in accordance with current NRA's issued by the Office of the Administrator, Chief Health and Medical Office, or to meet programmatic requirements.

d. The Assistant Administrator, Office of External Relations, or designee(s), and the NASA General Counsel, or designee(s), are responsible for reviewing and concurring on arrangements with foreign sponsoring entities in all cases where foreign Principal Investigators are to be involved in research on extraterrestrial materials.

e. The Center Director, Johnson Space Center (JSC), or designee, the Astromaterials Curator, shall be responsible for the following:

(1) The curation of all extraterrestrial material under NASA control, including future NASA missions. Curation includes documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples for research, education, and public outreach.

(2) The physical security, protection, preservation and environment of extraterrestrial materials in the JSC Curatorial Laboratories; and the suitable off-site storage of a representative sampling of the curated extraterrestrial materials.

(3) The development and maintenance of the system of detailed procedures through which the distribution of curated extraterrestrial materials are controlled, and the implementation of that system in conjunction with other NASA offices as necessary.

(4) The development and maintenance of a unified, thorough, and up-to-date set of procedures on control and security of curated extraterrestrial materials.






NPD 7100.10D, Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials, dated February 11, 2003.

REVALIDATED JANUARY 10, 2008, Original Signed by:

/s/ Sean O'Keefe


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