Planetary Simulant Database

Free Resource for Regolith Simulant Information

Mineralogy

The mineralogy of the source rock for LCATS-1 contains melilite, olivine, nepheline, and accessory clinopyroxene (titanaugite), titaniferous magnetite, apatite and biotite, with some minor clays as weathering products.

Bulk Chemistry

Bulk chemistry was reported by Hooper et al. (2020) and is reproduced below.

Oxide Wt. %
SiO2 33.47
TiO2 3.00
Al2O3 8.34
Fe2O3 13.93
MgO 12.03
CaO 12.66
MnO 0.17
Na2O 2.20
K2O 1.32
P2O5 1.17

Physical Properties

The following properties are reported by Hooper et al. (2020)

Property Value
Specific gravity 3.14
Bulk density 1.41-1.70 g/cm3
Angle of repose 26.5-44.6°

Lunar Caves Analog Test Sites LCATS-1

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Simulant Name: LCATS-1
Availability: Available
Fidelity: Standard
Developed By: D. M. Hooper, Sam Ximenes & others
Available From: Astroport Space Technologies, Inc.
Publications: Hooper, D. M. et al. (2020), Introduction of LCATS-1, a Geotechnical Lunar Regolith Simulant for Multi-Purpose Utilization. 51st LPSC, Houston TX, Abstract #2548

LCATS-1 is a recently developed and described geotechnical lunar regolith simulant designed for multiple purposes. The source material for the simulant comes from the Balcones Igneous Province in southern Texas, which hosts both feldspathoid and basaltic compositions. The simulant itself comes from the Knippa basalt, and was collected from the Vulcan Materials Company quarry in Uvalde County, Texas (29.28°N, 99.65°W).

The raw materials were processed with a jaw crusher, then subsequent grinding, milling and screening. Several different particle size ranges are described in Hooper et al. (2020), with a range between 40-70 μm identified as being particularly desirable for lunar applications. LCATS-1 is being used for various purposes with many focused on ISRU, including 3D printing and bricks for landing pads.

Images

Photograph of LCATS-1 courtesy of S. Ximenes: