Space News and Facts Newsletter #39
February 6, 2022 - February 12, 2022
Every now and then I get a real surprise. I did not know that there is a laboratory that makes regolith (dirt) simulants for NASA and other researchers to test equipment on. A simulant is exactly what the name implies: a simulation that resembles something else, in this case regolith (dirt).
The laboratory is the Exolith Lab at Orlando, Florida. It is managed by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Florida Space Institute, but it’s operated by students (with oversight, of course). Exolith Lab is a non-profit organization. Per its website, it “develops and produces Lunar, Martian, and asteroid regolith (soil) simulants.”
According to this article from the UCF’s Nicholson Student Media website, Exolith Lab has supplied SpaceX and Blue Origin with regolith simulants to test their rockets’ landing capability on other planets. Exolith Lab’s website also states they sell to “NASA, The ESA, space companies, universities, and researchers around the globe.”
Regolith simulants produced by UCF students at a laboratory help bring humans closer to creating a sustainable presence on the moon and other planets.
This is a very well-researched collection of “13 Interesting Facts About The International Space Station” by Cassidy Ward. I’ll reveal just a few of those facts.