Lunar Simulants Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium

Lunar Simulants

The Lunar Simulants Working Group was formed to enhance communication between groups that evaluate and use lunar regolith simulants in our community. Simulants of lunar regolith are required to fully test technologies under relevant lunar surface conditions and will be an integral part of our return to the Moon. Since the testing procedures developed by the community may have a range of desired simulation characteristics, a variety of lunar simulants are required to completely replicate various characteristics of the lunar regolith (e.g., geochemical, geophysical, geotechnical properties, etc.). The Lunar Simulant Working Group seeks to evaluate lunar simulants according to these various characteristics in order to inform decisions of the community in selecting lunar simulants for experiments and/or testing. This space exists to support and enhance the exchange of lunar simulant information, share appropriate references, and encourage conversations regarding the evaluation of lunar simulants.

APL Lead

Contact all staff

Karen Stockstill-Cahill

Subgroup Coordinator

JHU-APL LSII Simulant Project

Testing technologies under realistic scenarios and relevant lunar conditions is an integral part of the technology maturation cycle. Furthermore, technologies that will derive resources in-situ from the surface of the Moon will require testing under lunar conditions using simulants of lunar regolith. However, all lunar simulants are approximations of lunar regolith that do not reproduce all of the characteristics that lunar regolith exhibits in-situ on the Moon.

The Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII) team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU-APL) is tasked with providing an independent assessment of lunar simulants to provide guidance and feedback to NASA and the lunar research community. This process will be repeated annually and those reports will be posted here for members of the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) as well as on the LSIC public website (http://lsic.jhuapl.edu) for the larger planetary community.

JHU-APL Simulant Team

JHU-APL assembled a team of experienced lunar researchers to lead the lunar simulant assessment effort. These individuals work together to verify and validate lunar regolith simulants to ensure that the difference between simulants and the lunar regolith is fully understood and that the impact these difference would have on technology testing is evaluated and characterized. As new suppliers of simulants or new simulant production techniques emerge, APL will characterize those simulants for potential application to technology testing. The team works closely with the NASA Simulant Advisory Committee to evaluate commercial lunar simulants.

Team Member Role

Karen Stockstill-Cahill
Planetary Geologist/Spectroscopist

Lunar Simulant Lead Scientist

Brett Denvi
Planetary Scientist

Apollo Sample Consultant
(Former Lunar Simulant Lead Scientist)

David Blewett
Planetary Geologist

Camsizer Analysis Lead Scientist

Angela Stickle
Planetary Scientist/Hypervelocity Impact Physicist

Lunar Simulant Provider Site Visit Leader

Anna Martin
Planetary Research Geologist

Laboratory Analyses Co-Leader
Carlie Wagoner
Planetary Research Geologist

Laboratory Analyses Co-Leader

NASA LSII Simulant Project

The NASA LSII Simulant Project was formed to advance the state and knowledge of lunar simulants. An overview of NASA's Simulant Project, Simulant Advisory Committee, and simulant usage can be found here: https://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/projects/simulants/

NASA Simulant Advisory Committee

An integral part of NASA's Simulant Project is the Simulant Advisory Committee. Simulant guidance, inquiries, recommendations, and procurement are facilitated through the NASA Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII) Simulant Advisory Committee. The purpose of the Simulant Advisory Committee is to establish a NASA-wide voice of all things simulants. The committee gives advice on appropriate use and creation of simulants and assists in their production and distribution across NASA, academia, and the private sector. This is a coordinated approach across NASA for simulant development and to support projects' simulant needs with a variety of low-, moderate-, and high-fidelity lunar simulants. The committee will develop guidelines and standards to facilitate consistency and efficiency for simulant use. Additionally, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) LSII is working with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL) Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) to characterize and assess commercial lunar simulants.

Committee Personnel NASA Center Role Email
Julie Kleinhenz GRC/JSC Engineer/Testing Involving Simulants julie.e.kleinhenz@nasa.gov
Elizabeth Carey JPL Geoscientist/Icy Regoliths elizabeth.m.carey@jpl.nasa.gov
Doug Rickman MSFC Geoscientist/Simulant Characterization and Testing douglas.l.rickman@nasa.gov
Jennifer Edmunson MSFC Geoscientist/Testing Involving Simulants jennifer.e.edmunson@nasa.gov
Julie Mitchell JSC Planetary Geoscientist/Icy Regoliths
Sarah Deitrick JSC Planetary Geoscientist/Simulant Development, Characterization, and Testing sarah.r.deitrick@nasa.gov
John Gruener JSC Planetary Scientist/Committee Lead john.e.gruener@nasa.gov
Laurent Sibille KSC Technology Development Scientist/Simulant Characterization and Testing laurent.sibille-1@nasa.gov

LSIC Wiki on Confluence

Open to LSIC members only.

To request access, please contact Andrea Harman at ams573@alumni.psu.edu.

LSIC Wiki

The Lunar Simulant Portal is available through the wiki.

LSII Lunar Simulant Portal
LSIC Listserv

Complete survey to request access.

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