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Un nouveau plateau de salles blanches pour le centre de recherche petrographique et géochimique de Nancy

New methods in Nancy to analyze rocks from space

New instrument of the Petrographic and Geochemical Research Center of Nancy and Research Laboratory of the CNRS and University of Lorraine. CRPG, which studies many types of rock, on June 22 opened a new batch of clean rooms. Chambers with ultra-pure air to study very special rocks, some of which come from extraterrestrial space rocks. The goal is not to pollute them and thus distort the analyses.

“Very clean environment”

To enter, you have to show your white paws. Entry in full wetsuit. It’s a matter of not distorting the analyzes, explains Guillaume Parisi, a researcher at CNRS: “It is to provide a very clean environment to process the very valuable samples that come from space, from the ocean floor, and from the Himalayas, and not bring pollution with us.The air is filtered, and often regenerated, to protect the samples and the researchers who work with them.

New Cleanroom Platform of the Nancy Center for Petrographic and Geochemical Research © Radio France
Cedric Leto

The challenge with this new platform also lies in the ability to attract researchers and projects, explains Katherine Zimmermann, CNRS engineer and technical director of the platform:It is attractive because it is a guarantee of reproducibility and non-contamination in order to be able to validate the resultsThis plateau should allow the center to continue to receive extraterrestrial materials such as asteroid or meteorite grains. The competition is global for these samplesaccording to Guillaume Parisi:Given the cost of the missions, there is strong international pressure around these questions that are still of interest to us because there will be missions that will return samples from Mars. All labs are in the starting blocks and the CRPG finds itself armed to recover this type of sample“.

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The cost of the project Approximately one million and 800 thousand eurosFunded by Europe, Grand Est, University, Laboratory, CNRS and Greater Nancy.