Mechanical Properties of Lunar Soil and Simulants

by Valery V. Gromov, Mobile Vehicle Engineering Inst, United States,
W. David Carrier, III, Mobile Vehicle Engineering Inst, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


Investigation of the physical and mechanical properties of lunar soil carried out by the USSR and the USA; both in situ and on returned samples, has resulted in considerable information regarding the soil properties. This has permitted the development of lunar soil simulants for purposes of evaluating lunar technologies. Comparison tests among lunar soil simulants that have different granulometric composition have shown that there are significant variations in some soil properties. This fact could have a serious influence on the potential of lunar soil as a building material, and on the mechanical parameters related to lunar exploration and exploitation. These results also demonstrate the importance of further investigations, and the necessity of the development of soil simulants with specific properties. For future lunar surface mission planning, it is necessary to take into account the variety of the soil properties, and to develop new equipment for measuring in situ soil properties.

Subject Headings: Soil properties | Lunar materials | Surface properties | Physical properties | Mechanical properties | Field tests | Comparative studies | Soil tests | United States

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