Production of High Fidelity Lunar Agglutinate Simulant
As space faring nations consider manned and unmanned missions to the Moon, there is a growing need to develop high fidelity lunar regolith simulants that can accurately reproduce the properties and behavior of lunar regolith. Such simulants will be employed to verify the performance of equipment, mechanisms, structures and processes to be used on the lunar surface. One of the significant limitations of current terrestrial-based simulants, such as the popular mare simulant, JSC-1A, is the lack of agglutinates. This paper investigates the production of a lunar mare agglutinate simulant based on JSC-1A. A modified plasma processing technique was used to expose the JSC-1A regolith simulant to high temperatures and transform it to predominantly a glassy phase. Detailed characterization results are presented to confirm that the agglutinate simulant material produced during this investigation reasonably satisfies the primary requirements of an agglutinate simulant such as amorphous/crystalline content, particle size, morphology, vesicular structure, chemistry, and presence of nanophase elemental Fe.
S. Sen et al., "Production of High Fidelity Lunar Agglutinate Simulant," Advances in Space Research, Elsevier, Jun 2011.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2011.02.005
Materials Science and Engineering
NASA Small Business Innovation Research
Keywords and Phrases
Lunar Regolith; Lunar Regolith Simulant; Nanophase Iron; Vesicles; Glass; Lunar soil
Article - Journal
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