Evaluations of lunar regolith simulants

1Lawrence A. Taylor, 2Carle M. Pieters, 3Danial Britt
1Planetary Geosciences Institute, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, United States
2Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, United States
3Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, United States

Apollo lunar regolith samples are not available in quantity for engineering studies with In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). Therefore, with expectation of a return to the Moon, dozens of regolith (soil) simulants have been developed, to some extent a result of inefficient distribution of NASA-sanctioned simulants. In this paper, we review many of these simulants, with evaluations of their short-comings. In 2010, the NAC–PSS committee instructed the Lunar Exploration Advisory Group (LEAG) and CAPTEM (the NASA committee recommending on the appropriations of Apollo samples) to report on the status of lunar regolith simulants. This report is reviewed here-in, along with a list of the plethora of lunar regolith simulants and references. In addition, and importantly, a special, unique Apollo 17 soil sample (70050) discussed, which has many of the properties sought for ISRU studies, should be available in reasonable amounts for ISRU studies.

Reference
Taylor LA, Pieters CM, Britt D (2016) Evaluations of lunar regolith simulants. Planetary and Space Science (in Press)
Link to Article [doi:10.1016/j.pss.2016.04.005]
Copyright Elsevier

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