Characterization of novel lunar highland and mare simulants for ISRU research applications

1Maxim Isachenkov,1Svyatoslav Chugunov,2Zoe Landsman,1Iskander Akhatov,2Anna Metke,1Andrey Tikhonov,1Igor Shishkovsky
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114873]
1Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Center for Design, Manufacturing, and Materials, 30 Bolshoy boulevard, bld, 1121205 Moscow, Russian Federation

2CLASS Exolith Lab, Florida Space Institute, 12354 Research Parkway, Orlando, FL 32826, United States of America
Copyright Elsevier

Lunar regolith is the most critical material for the in-situ resource utilization in the crewed Moon exploration missions. This natural material can be utilized for the additive manufacturing of concrete or ceramic parts on the Moon’s surface to support permanent human presence on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite. Due to the scarcity of regolith on Earth, its simulants are used in lab research to prepare the technology for Moon missions. The present study is devoted to the characterization of lunar regolith simulant material, recently developed by the University of Central Florida, that is considered as a suitable material for regolith-focused additive manufacturing technologies. This paper describes the characterization of the LHS-1 and LMS-1 simulants using XRF, XRD, SEM, EDX, DTA, TGA, UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy, and Laser diffractometry methods to provide data on their mineral, chemical, and fractional composition, as well as, on their morphology and optical properties. The results were compared to the data of the previously developed simulants and the original lunar samples delivered by Apollo and Luna missions. It was found that LHS-1 and LMS-1 simulants well mimic the primary properties of the original lunar regolith and can be potentially used for ISRU research tasks.

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