Improved Lunar and Martian Regolith Simulant Production

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$70,000.00
Award Year:
2005
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNM05AA25C
Agency Tracking Number:
041309
Solicitation Year:
2004
Solicitation Topic Code:
B1.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Orbital Technologies Corp
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive, Madison, WI, 53717-1961
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
196894869
Principal Investigator:
Marty Gustafson
Principal Investigator
(608) 827-5000
gustafsonm@orbitec.com
Business Contact:
Thomas Crabb
Business Official
(608) 827-5000
johnsond@orbitec.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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