I am a high school student living in Canada that needs lunar regolith for a science experiment? Anyone know where to buy simulant of it?

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    $\begingroup$ Possible source: sciences.ucf.edu/class/science/regolith-simulants The bad news: Their Lunar simulant is currently under development. $\endgroup$ – bit chaser Jul 5 '18 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to consider also asking for a description of what a simulant might be like, or a reference to read more about it. If you can't obtain one, or it turns out to be super-expensive, a DIY simulant might be necessary. Another thought: the moon's surface is of course dry, if your experiment is in a humid environment, you may have some difficulty. Maybe a closed box with a desiccant might be necessary, depending on the simulant used. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 5 '18 at 7:04
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    $\begingroup$ What's the experiment? If there's specific properties it depends on you may be able to substitute something $\endgroup$ – GdD Jul 5 '18 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ Did you find the lunar dust simulant? $\endgroup$ – Dmytro Khmara Sep 4 '18 at 7:52
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    $\begingroup$ @DmytroKhmara No, I did not. I switched it to Martian regolith simulant instead. $\endgroup$ – opaque_dragon Sep 11 '18 at 4:22

So there are a variety of lunar regolith simulants, however, many are commercially unavailable. One such simulant that I have had experience in the past with is known as BP-1. It is a fine dust mined in Arizona. I was unable to find a purchase link.

Another option is crushed limestone: https://www.amazon.com/Pounds-Carbonate-Limestone-Amendment-Fertilizer/dp/B00AL1E4H8 Crushed limestone usually has a comparable particle size and is readily available. It is worth noting that all of these simulants vary drastically from the actual chemical composition of lunar dust, and can only mimic the physical qualities.

One final thing to note is that many lunar regolith simulants can be somewhat dangerous in the long term due to their incredibly fine particulate size. I have been told that they are minorly carcinogenic and have first hand seen vomiting and coughs persisting for several days after extended exposure. Please, at the very least, use safety masks commonly used for dusty operations from your local hardware store and perform the task in a well ventilated area.


Here is a list of lunar simulants taken from University of Central Florida's Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science's Planetary Simulant Database

Simulants for other bodies are listed there as well. I found this link in the Open Access paper mentioned at the end

Lunar Highlands Simulants

  • LHS-1 Lunar Highlands Simulant 🇺🇸

  • MLS-2 Minnesota Lunar Simulant 🇺🇸

  • NAO-1 National Astronomical Observatories 🇨🇳

  • NU-LHT-1M/2M/3M/1D/2C Lunar Highlands Type 🇺🇸

  • OB-1/CHENOBI Olivine Bytownite 🇨🇦

  • Off Planet Research OPRH2N/H2W/H3N/H3W 🇺🇸

Lunar Mare Simulants

  • ALS Arizona Lunar Simulant 🇺🇸

  • ALRS-1 Australian Lunar Regolith Simulant 🇦🇺

  • BP-1 Black Point 🇺🇸

  • CAS-1 Chinese Academy of Sciences 🇨🇳

  • CLRS-1/2 Chinese Lunar Regolith Simulant 🇨🇳

  • CSM-CL Colorado School of Mines Colorado Lava 🇺🇸

  • CUG-1A China University of Geosciences 🇨🇳

  • DNA-1 De NoArtri 🇮🇹

  • FJS-1/2/3 Fuji Japanese Simulant 🇯🇵

  • GSC-1 Goddard Space Center 🇺🇸

  • JSC-1/1A/1AF/1AC/2A Johnson Space Center 🇺🇸

  • KLS-1 Korea Lunar Simulant 🇰🇷

  • KOHLS-1/KAUMLS Korean Lunar Simulants 🇰🇷

  • LMS-1 Lunar Mare Simulant 🇺🇸

  • Maryland-Sanders Lunar Simulant 🇺🇸

  • MLS-1/1P Minnesota Lunar Simulant 🇺🇸

  • MKS-1 Lunar Simulant 🇯🇵

  • NEU-1 Northeastern University Lunar Simulant 🇨🇳

  • Off Planet Research OPRL2N/L2W 🇺🇸

  • Oshima Simulant 🇯🇵

  • TJ-1/2 Tongji University 🇨🇳

Lunar Dust & Misc. Lunar Simulants

  • BHLD20 Lunar Dust Simulant 🇨🇳

  • CLDS-i Lunar Dust Simulant 🇨🇳

  • CMU-1 Carnegie Mellon University 🇺🇸

  • GRC-1/3 Glenn Research Center 🇺🇸

  • Kohyama Simulant 🇯🇵

  • Off Planet Research OPRFLCROSS1 Lunar Ice Simulant 🇺🇸

This just in!

Science Daily Experimental Martian dirt: $20 a kilogram, plus shipping; Researchers publish recipe for Martian and asteriod simulant

Scroll down for the Open Access paper.

  • Date: September 28, 2018
  • Source: University of Central Florida
  • Summary: A team of astrophysicists has developed a scientifically based, standardized method for creating Martian and asteroid soil known as simulants.

mars regolith simulant

This is not fake news. A team of UCF astrophysicists has developed a scientifically based, standardized method for creating Martian and asteroid soil known as simulants.

The team published its findings this month in the journal Icarus.

It continues...

Kevin Cannon, the paper's lead author and a post-doctoral researcher who works with Britt at UCF, says there are different types of soil on Mars and on asteroids. On Earth, for example, we have black sand, white sand, clay and topsoil to name a few. On other worlds, you might find carbon-rich soils, clay-rich soils and salt-rich soils, he added.

"With this technique, we can produce many variations," Cannon said. "Most of the minerals we need are found on Earth although some are very difficult to obtain."

lunar regolith simulant:

Cannon is in Montana to collect ingredients for a moon simulant this week. Moon and asteroid materials are rare and expensive on Earth since they arrived via meteorites in small amounts. That's why asteroid and moon simulants are also on the list of items that can be ordered. The UCF team can mimic most ingredients and will substitute for any potentially harmful materials. All simulants produced in the lab, meet NASA's safety standards.

Britt and Cannon believe there is a market for the simulant. At $20 a kilogram, plus shipping, it may be easier to send UCF an order, than to try and make it in labs across the nation.

The team already has about 30 pending orders, including one from Kennedy Space Center for half a ton.

The paper mentioned:

Kevin M. Cannon, Daniel T. Britt, Trent M. Smith, Ralph F. Fritsche, Daniel Batcheldor. Mars global simulant MGS-1: A Rocknest-based open standard for basaltic martian regolith simulants. Icarus, 2019; 317: 470 DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.08.019

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    $\begingroup$ Great answer! $20 a kilogram, that is a fairly low price. But half a ton is 10,000 $. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Sep 29 '18 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ I've added this answer here as well. This is normally done by closing one question as duplicate of another but I am not sure in this particular case if that's appropriate. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 29 '18 at 14:56

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