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SBIR/STTR

Improved Lunar and Martian Regolith Simulant Production, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Improved Lunar and Martian Regolith Simulant Production, Phase I
NASA's new exploration initiative created immediate need for materials science and technology research to enable safe human travel and work on future lunar or Martian long-duration missions. To conduct this research, NASA must have lunar and Martian regolith simulant for materials experiments and prototype testing of transportation equipment, advanced life support systems, and in situ resource processing. This SBIR will conduct a feasibility study on a new generation of lunar and Martian simulants with improved composition and mineralogical analysis. For lunar regolith, Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) proposes to recreate the JSC-1 material and study post-production processes to add additional percentages of glass particles to improve composition. A study to assess the feasibility of creating a lunar highlands-type simulant will also be conducted. For Martian regolith, ORBITEC will mine the raw material for the JSC Mars-1 simulant with an improved extraction process to avoid the contamination of the soil that resulted in the non-Martian magnetic component. Additional grain-size particles will also be prepared and combined with the material to improve its grain-size distribution comparison. These innovations combined with the well-documented and received original JSC-1 and Mars-1 source materials will produce simulants that will assist NASA on its future exploration quest. More »

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