American Society of Civil Engineers

Martian and Lunar Cold Region Soil Mechanics Considerations

by Koon Meng Chua and Stewart W. Johnson

Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 4, October 1998, pp. 138-147, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Robotic missions to Mars are listed and significant results of each past mission related to soil engineering are noted. What is known of the Mars environment and surface features that may be of interest to the engineer is summarized. The presumptive engineering properties of soils on the Martian surface are postulated based on expected soil forming mechanisms, the thermal environment found on Mars, and experience from cold region engineering on Earth. The discussion also extends to likely soil characteristics in craters found in the polar regions of the Moon. Experimental results from triaxial testing inert silt (JSC-1 lunar soil simulant) at and near freezing temperatures, with and without water, are also presented. Areas for future investigation and research are suggested.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Cold regions
Soil mechanics