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I'm looking to make a physical lunar regolith stimulant at home. I don't care about chemical composition, color, or anything like that, but I'd like it to behave similarly to actual lunar regolith in terms of compressability, angle of repose, etc.

Are there any instructions or guides on how to do this with household materials (eg. 200g flour, 100g fine sand, etc)?

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  • $\begingroup$ Is that to behave similarly under Earth conditions as real regolith performs under lunar conditions? $\endgroup$
    – user20636
    Mar 22, 2020 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM yes, I'd like to test things like rover wheels and collection shovels here on Earth $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Mar 22, 2020 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ answers to Is lunar regolith available for purchase? do not answer your question, but it's possible that some of the links may contain some useful information $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 23, 2020 at 0:49
  • $\begingroup$ You can buy it from exolith labs, it's cheap $\endgroup$
    – None
    Mar 15, 2023 at 16:41

3 Answers 3

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The best bet is to get volcanic sand, which tends to have the rougher texture that is common on the Moon. Specifically, the base component to most NASA regolith stimulants is basaltic ash with a high glass content.

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During the development of Lunokhod, an Armenian volcanic pumice (gray color) was used as a cover for the test track. Lunadrom for training the crew of the Lunokhod was covered with Crimean shell rock (yellow color).

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Slag.

The moon is differentiated. Effectively, lunar regolith is ore that has been “de-ored”; all valuables have been pulled out (depleted), both by sinking to the core (siderophiles) and by degassing to space (atmophiles, some chalcophiles). Oh, and the moon is double -differentiated; Earth had already differentiated into core, crust, and mantles. Then the giant impactor struck, and a moon formed from the crust and mantle. The new body was then molten again , and differentiated AGAIN .

For bulk purposes (not part-per-million science), assume that moon rock is the crap left over from processes that are actually economic and profitable. Find yourself some industrial source that’s giving away their slag. Are you in the Great Lakes area, by any chance?

For your specific question, you would then reduce it to the relevant particle sizes. A ball mill works, but the grit would be rather rounded by comparison; actual space regoliths from airless bodies are shattered by hypervelocity impacts, and more angular. This is also the problem with volcanic ash; most ash pulled into rounder shapes while molten. I suppose some explosive volcanoes have shattered grains, but they would be mixed in with other stuff.

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