Is moon dust (lunar regolith) available for purchase legally? NASA has about 382 kg moon regolith fro Apollo's missions. Is it possible to by a couple grams of it in NASA?

  • $\begingroup$ This is a different question, but one that you might find interesting to look at: Where can I buy lunar regolith simulant? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 4, 2018 at 8:19
  • $\begingroup$ You can buy artifacts that are coated in moon dust such as this google.de/amp/s/phys.org/news/… but it's more of an auction thing than a 2-day shipping thing. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Sep 4, 2018 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ Related: space.stackexchange.com/questions/29724/… $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2018 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ Colorado School of Mines also keeps a list of searchable simulants (available and obsolete) at simulantdb.com $\endgroup$
    – Lauren
    Feb 8, 2023 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ It is possible to purchase meteorites that originated from the moon. They're not the cheapest meteorites, but not prohibitivley expensive either. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2023 at 17:20

3 Answers 3


No, it's not for sale. You can send NASA a request to borrow some for scientific experiments, though.

NASA provides lunar rock, soil, and regolith-core samples for both destructive and non-destructive analysis in pursuit of new scientific knowledge. Requests are considered for both basic studies in planetary science and applied studies in lunar materials beneficiation and resource utilization.

A. The sample investigator demonstrates favorable scientific peer review of the proposed work involving lunar samples.

B. The investigator submits a written request specifying the numbers, types, and quantities of lunar samples needed, as well as the planned use of the samples.

C. The Lunar Sample Curator will research the availability of the requested samples and decide whether a unilateral action can be taken or an outside scientific review is required.


It is unlikely the Apollo moon samples will ever be available for sale:

The 842 lbs (381.9 kg) of moon rock that were brought back to Earth during the Apollo program are the property of the United States of America and under American law it is illegal (19 U.S.C. ยง 1595 a(c)(1)(A)) to transfer public gifts into private ownership without explicitly passing a law to do so.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I seem to remember that, at some point, the US gifted small samples set in perspex to every country on earth, and that many or even most of those seem to have gone missing and may be on the black market. $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2018 at 17:23
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "for [...] destructive [...] analysis" - An interesting definition of "borrow". $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Sep 4, 2018 at 17:39

You can't purchase the real stuff, however, there are a few simulates that are intended to mimic the real thing. They are hard to come by, but can be found still. One place that sells them is here (Currently out of stock).


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 ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • MLS-2 Minnesota Lunar Simulant ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • NAO-1 National Astronomical Observatories ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  • NU-LHT-1M/2M/3M/1D/2C Lunar Highlands Type ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • OB-1/CHENOBI Olivine Bytownite ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

  • Off Planet Research OPRH2N/H2W/H3N/H3W ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Lunar Mare Simulants

  • ALS Arizona Lunar Simulant ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • ALRS-1 Australian Lunar Regolith Simulant ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

  • BP-1 Black Point ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • CAS-1 Chinese Academy of Sciences ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  • CLRS-1/2 Chinese Lunar Regolith Simulant ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  • CSM-CL Colorado School of Mines Colorado Lava ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • CUG-1A China University of Geosciences ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  • DNA-1 De NoArtri ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

  • FJS-1/2/3 Fuji Japanese Simulant ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

  • GSC-1 Goddard Space Center ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • JSC-1/1A/1AF/1AC/2A Johnson Space Center ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • KLS-1 Korea Lunar Simulant ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท

  • KOHLS-1/KAUMLS Korean Lunar Simulants ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท

  • LMS-1 Lunar Mare Simulant ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • Maryland-Sanders Lunar Simulant ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • MLS-1/1P Minnesota Lunar Simulant ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • MKS-1 Lunar Simulant ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

  • NEU-1 Northeastern University Lunar Simulant ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  • Off Planet Research OPRL2N/L2W ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • Oshima Simulant ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

  • TJ-1/2 Tongji University ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

Lunar Dust & Misc. Lunar Simulants

  • BHLD20 Lunar Dust Simulant ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  • CLDS-i Lunar Dust Simulant ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  • CMU-1 Carnegie Mellon University ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • GRC-1/3 Glenn Research Center ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  • Kohyama Simulant ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

  • Off Planet Research OPRFLCROSS1 Lunar Ice Simulant ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

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

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 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, 2018 at 14:56

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