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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Task-Specific Asteroid Simulants for Ground Testing

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Task-Specific Asteroid Simulants for Ground Testing, Phase I
We will design, prototype, and test a variety of asteroid simulants needed to validate most aspects of asteroid ISRU processes. These include physical simulants for excavation, transfer, and preparation (including comminution); chemical/mineralogical/volatile simulants for processing tests such as volatiles extraction, metals extraction, and oxygen production; and simulants to evaluate scientific and commercial instrumentation. The need for task-specific asteroid simulants is illustrated by the history of ill-designed and ill-applied lunar simulants, and current practices for asteroid simulants, which are marked by ad-hoc improvisation that frequently results in an inability to compare results among experiments or reliably repeat experiments for confirmation. More »

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