As NASA Strives towards a Long Duration Presence on the Moon, It Has Become Increasingly Important to Learn How to Better Utilize Resources from the Lunar Surface for Everything from Habitats, Vehicle Infrastructure, and Chemical Extraction. to that End, a Variety of Lunar Simulants Have Been Sourced from Terrestrially Available Volcanic Minerals and Glass as Apollo Regolith is Unavailable for Experimentation Needing Large Masses. However, While Mineralogy and Chemical Composition Can Approach that of Lunar Material in These Simulants, There Are Still Distinct Non-Lunar Phases Such as Hydrates, Carbonates, Sulfates, and Clays that Can Cause Simulants to Behave Distinctly Non-Lunar in a Variety of Processing Conditions that Maybe Applied In-Situ to Lunar Material. Notably, Severe Glassy Bubbling Has Been Documented in a Variety of Vacuum Sintering Experiments on JSC-1A Lunar Mare Simulant Heated Via Microwaves. the Origins of This Outgassing Have Not Been Well Understood But Are Normally Attributed to the Decomposition of Non-Lunar Contaminates Intrinsic to Virtually All Terrestrially Sourced Simulants. as Such, a Series of Controlled Environmental Tests Were Performed to Ascertain the Origins of the High Temperature Outgassing and to Develop Heat Treatments that Can Drive JSC-1A Closer to Lunar Composition and Behavior. It Was Found that in JSC-1A at Elevated Temperatures Distinct Gas Evolutions of Water, Carbon Dioxide, and Sulfur Dioxide Occur in Both Inert Gas and Vacuum. Additionally, the Presence of Hydrogen during Heat Treatments Was Shown to Dramatically Change Gas Evolutions, Leading to Distinctly More Lunar-Like Composition and Behavior from JSC-1A Simulant.
R. P. Wilkerson et al., "Outgassing Behavior and Heat Treatment Optimization of JSC-1A Lunar Regolith Simulant," Icarus, vol. 400, article no. 115577, Elsevier, Aug 2023.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2023.115577
Keywords and Phrases
Geological processes; Mineralogy; Moon; Moon, surface
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.
01 Aug 2023