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Lunar soil

About: Lunar soil is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 2412 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 41801 citation(s).
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Journal ArticleDOI
Paul H. Warren1, John T. WassonInstitutions (1)
Abstract: The concept of 'urKREEP' (primeval KREEP), a magma residuum hypothetically produced early in lunar history by fractional distillation of the global magma ocean which hypothetically created the lunar crust, is used to explain the origin of KREEPy lunar rocks. The incompatible-rich last dregs of the magma ocean left their trace in the form of incompatible patterns that show no relative fractionation from site to site on the moon and that, with the exception of minor fractionals in two pristine clasts, are the same in pristine samples as in breccias. The high concentration on the lunar surface of these urKREEP remnants demands a high efficiency in upward transport of the incompatibles. This transport may have been enhanced by urKREEP's presumably low density and by high temperatures produced by radioactive decay in the K-, U-, and Th-rich residuum.

380 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2014-Acta Astronautica
Abstract: 3D-printing technologies are receiving an always increasing attention in architecture, due to their potential use for direct construction of buildings and other complex structures, also of considerable dimensions, with virtually any shape. Some of these technologies rely on an agglomeration process of inert materials, e.g. sand, through a special binding liquid and this capability is of interest for the space community for its potential application to space exploration. In fact, it opens the possibility for exploiting in-situ resources for the construction of buildings in harsh spatial environments. The paper presents the results of a study aimed at assessing the concept of 3D printing technology for building habitats on the Moon using lunar soil, also called regolith. A particular patented 3D-printing technology – D-shape – has been applied, which is, among the existing rapid prototyping systems, the closest to achieving full scale construction of buildings and the physical and chemical characteristics of lunar regolith and terrestrial regolith simulants have been assessed with respect to the working principles of such technology. A novel lunar regolith simulant has also been developed, which almost exactly reproduces the characteristics of the JSC-1A simulant produced in the US. Moreover, tests in air and in vacuum have been performed to demonstrate the occurrence of the reticulation reaction with the regolith simulant. The vacuum tests also showed that evaporation or freezing of the binding liquid can be prevented through a proper injection method. The general requirements of a Moon outpost have been specified, and a preliminary design of the habitat has been developed. Based on such design, a section of the outpost wall has been selected and manufactured at full scale using the D-shape printer and regolith simulant. Test pieces have also been manufactured and their mechanical properties have been assessed.

367 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
John W. Delano1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The examination of glasses from all of the Apollo landing sites has led to the identification of 25 groups of pristine glass. The nickel found in these glasses is shown to be indigenous, not meteoritic contamination, and to be correlated with Mg. Chemical data indicate that these glasses are more suitable for primary magma than most crystalline mare basalts. In addition, these pristine glasses support the view that assimilative processes involving two cumulative systems in the differentiated mantle operated during mare petrogenesis. Two linear arrays found among the chemistries of the glasses attest to the existence of these interactions. Data suggest that these cumulate components in the mantle continue for 1000 km (laterally) and therefore are likely to be products of a magma ocean that existed early in lunar history.

330 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: [1] Gamma ray spectroscopy data acquired by Lunar Prospector are used to determine global maps of the elemental composition of the lunar surface. Maps of the abundance of major oxides, MgO, Al2O3, SiO2, CaO, TiO2, and FeO, and trace incompatible elements, K and Th, are presented along with their geochemical interpretation. Linear spectral mixing is used to model the observed gamma ray spectrum for each map pixel. The spectral shape for each elemental constituent is determined by a Monte Carlo radiation transport calculation. Linearization of the mixing model is accomplished by scaling the spectral shapes with lunar surface parameters determined by neutron spectroscopy, including the number density of neutrons slowing down within the surface and the effective atomic mass of the surface materials. The association of the highlands with the feldspathic lunar meteorites is used to calibrate the mixing model and to determine backgrounds. A linear least squares approach is used to unmix measured spectra to determine the composition of each map pixel. The present analysis uses new gamma ray production cross sections for neutron interactions, resulting in improved accuracy compared to results previously submitted to the Planetary Data System. Systematic variations in lunar composition determined by the spectral unmixing analysis are compared with the lunar soil sample and meteorite collections. Significant results include improved accuracy for the abundance of Th and K in the highlands; identification of large regions, including western Procellarum, that are not well represented by the sample collection; and the association of relatively high concentrations of Mg with KREEP-rich regions on the lunar nearside, which may have implications for the concept of an early magma ocean.

318 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Space weathering processes that operate in the lunar regolith modify the surfaces of lunar soil grains. Transmission electron microscope analysis of the lunar soil grains from the fine size fraction of several lunar soils show that most grains are surrounded by thin (60–200 nm thick) rims. The microstructure and chemical compositions of the rims can be used to classify rims into four broad categories: amorphous, inclusion-rich, multiple, and vesicular. Amorphous rims are noncrystalline, generally lack crystalline inclusions, show evidence for preferential sputtering of cations, and are produced largely by solar-wind irradiation damage. Inclusion-rich rims contain abundant nanometer-sized grains of Fe metal as randomly dispersed inclusions or as distinct layers embedded in an amorphous silica-rich matrix. Inclusion-rich rims are compositionally distinct from their host grains and typically contain accumulations of elements that are not indigenous to the host. Inclusion-rich rims are formed largely by the deposition of impact-generated vapors with a contribution from the deposition of sputtered ions. A continuum in the chemical and microstructural properties exists between typical amorphous rims and typical inclusion-rich rims. Multiple-rims consist of a distinct radiation-damaged layer up to 50 nm thick, that is overlain by vapor-deposited material of comparable thickness. Vesicular rims are compositionally similar to their hosts and are characterized by an abundance of small ( The formation of rims on lunar soils is complex and involves several processes whose effects may be superimposed. From this study, it is shown that one process does not dominate and that the relative importance of vapor-deposition is comparable to radiation-damage in the formation of rims on lunar silicate grains. The presence of rims on lunar soil grains, particularly those with nanometer-sized Fe metal inclusions, may have a major influence on the optical and magnetic properties of lunar soils.

300 citations

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