Frequently Asked Questions
Exolith Lab’s goal is to enable space exploration, science, and education by making high-fidelity regolith simulants available to researchers and students around the globe.
Regolith is the layer of loose dirt that covers the bedrock of a planet. Regolith is present on many planets including the Earth, the Moon, and Mars.
A regolith simulant uses minerals found on Earth to mechanically and mineralogically replicate the regolith of another planet.
ISRU stands for In-situ Resource Utilization, which basically means “using what’s available on site.” Space travel is expensive, when we go back to the moon we’re not going to be able to bring everything we need with us. For instance, if we want to build houses on the moon, we can’t bring the building materials with us. We’ll have to use lunar regolith to make our own building materials.
Our simulants have been used for a wide variety of research including plant growth, dust mitigation, water extraction, plume, mechanical property testing, and other ISRU research.
Yes! Exolith Lab performs it’s own ISRU research.
A Lunar Agglutinate is a glassy matrix of Lunar Regolith produced by high energy micrometeorite impacts on the lunar surface.
Besides you? NASA, The ESA, space companies, universities, and researchers around the globe.
Through previously done XRD and XRF analysis of the regolith on the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids, we know the percentage of each mineral required in each simulant.
A high fidelity simulant replicates the essential aspects of a regolith. These include mineralogy, geochemistry, geotechnical properties, particle size, etc.
FAQ: Science Questions
If handling the dry simulant and lofting dust, a respirator and gloves are recommended. Any surface in contact with the simulant should be wiped down afterwards to avoid dust accumulation.
Simulants should be stored in a sealed container to avoid dust from mixing with the air.
Our standard simulants are between .01-1000 micron, whereas our 1D variants are all less than 30 microns. All of our material is sieved through a 1000 micron sieve to assure that no material exceeds that limit.
We have matched our lunar regolith simulant particle size distribution to follow the distribution of samples returned from the Moon. You can see the particle size distribution in the Simulant Spec Sheet.
We have gathered data on: Particle Size Distribution, Bulk Density, Angle of Repose, Shear Strength, Cohesiveness, Flowability, Specific Gravity, Porosity, and Void Ratio of our simulants. Please refer to the simulant spec sheet, found on each simulant’s product page, for all known geotechnical properties.
Our standard simulants do not include simulated agglutinates, but do include basalt with a high glass content. We do offer LHS-1-25A, which consists of 25% simulated agglutinates by mass.
Our simulated agglutinates are created by applying a high temperature to a base material of 99% anorthosite and 1% iron powder. These agglutinates are then percussively crushed to assure angularity, and sieved to match our base simulant.