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Lunar Dust Simulant

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PRODUCT INFORMATION

This vial contains simulated moon dust. It was engineered to be chemically and mechanically identical to the surface of ancient volcanic plains on the Moon, called maria.

The particle size and composition was designed to match that of the samples returned from the lunar mare during the Apollo missions. This sample was produced by the non-profit ExolithLab at the University of Central Florida. Your purchase will directly support further research and development of their simulant database.

 

You may also be interested in our Martian Simulant.

 

Chemical composition by weight:
  • 42.81% silicates (SiO2)
  • 18.89% magnesium oxide (MgO)
  • 14.13% aluminium oxide (Al2O3)
  • 7.87% iron oxide (FeOT)
  • 5.94% calcium oxide (CaO)
  • 4.92% sodium oxide (Na2O)
  • 4.62% titanium oxide (TiO2)
  • 0.57% potassium oxide (K2O)
  • 0.44% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5)
  • 0.21% chromium oxide (Cr2O3)
  • 0.15% manganese oxide (MnO)
  • 0.11% sulfur trioxide (SO3)
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LUNAR DUST SIMULANT

A lunar regolith simulant is a terrestrial material synthesized in order to approximate the chemical, mechanical, or engineering properties of, and the mineralogy and particle size distributions of, lunar regolith. Lunar regolith simulants are used by researchers who wish to research the materials handling, excavation, transportation, and uses of lunar regolith. Samples of actual lunar regolith are too scarce, and too small, for such research.

In the run-up to the Apollo program, crushed terrestrial rocks were first used to simulate the anticipated soils that astronauts would encounter on the lunar surface. In some cases the properties of these early simulants were substantially different from actual lunar soil, and the issues associated with the pervasive, fine-grained sharp dust grains on the Moon came as a surprise.

After Apollo and particularly during the development of the Constellation program , there was a large proliferation of lunar simulants produced by different organizations and researchers. Many of these were given three-letter acronyms to distinguish them (e.g., MLS-1, JSC-1), and numbers to designate subsequent versions. These simulants were broadly divided into highlands or mare soils, and were usually produced by crushing and sieving analogous terrestrial rocks (anorthosite for highlands, basalt for mare). Returned Apollo and Luna samples were used as reference materials in order to target specific properties such as elemental chemistry or particle size distribution. Many of these simulants were criticized by prominent lunar scientist Larry Taylor for a lack of quality control and wasted money on features like nanophase iron that had no documented purpose.

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Lunar Dust Simulant

Lunar Dust Simulant

$5.00
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