Samples were opened on Tuesday as part of NASA's Next Generation Analysis Initiative (ANGSA).
The purpose of these tests is to practice techniques to investigate future samples collected from the moon in Artemis missions. which is NASA's mission to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024.
Most of the samples returned from Apollo missions are either studied, or part of ongoing research at NASA. However, a number of samples were carefully stored and allowed to be tested with more advanced technology as it was developed.
"We can make measurements today that just weren't possible during the years of the Apollo program," said Dr. Sarah Noble, a scientist at ANGSA. "Analyzing these samples will maximize the return on science from Apollo, as well as enabling a new generation of scientists and researchers to refine their techniques and help prepare future researchers for lunar missions expected in 2020 and beyond. "