The Astromaterials Training and Research Opportunities (ASTRO) Cluster is a partnership between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and researchers at Canadian Institutions to foster the development of Canadian expertise in the CSA Tier 1 high priority strategic area of “Astromaterials analysis and curation.”

The core purpose of the ASTRO program is to promote astromaterials research capability in Canada by training the next generation of astro-materials researchers using our existing expertise and premier analytical facilities, coupled with multiple opportunities for international collaboration.

Astromaterials research encompasses the study of meteorites, returned samples from solar system bodies, impact-related rocks, and also manufactured materials which have been used in space.


The functional components of the ASTRO program are:

  • A yearly short course for astromaterials training, held in May to maximize the impact for new students
  • Travel bursaries for graduate student collaborative astromaterials research and conference participation
  • Support of undergraduate summer student research opportunities with astro-materials researchers
  • The coordination of Canadian astro-materials research and training, including the linking of relevant resources (sample curation & access, instrument  availability and course & website development)

ASTRO’s Mandate

To increase Canadian competency and credibility in astromaterials research, to achieve the following goals:

  • Improve Canadian science capabilities & sample handling protocols, to take advantage of opportunities for analysis arising from upcoming planned exploration and sample-return missions.
  • Increase the number, quality and diversity of meteorites in Canadian collections via meteorite recovery and typing.
  • Develop teaching materials aimed at senior undergraduate and graduate planetary science students.
  • Increase collaboration among ASTRO members, through trainee-related contact.