A retired NASA astrophysicist from Texas has developed an affordable, scientifically based, Martian and Lunar soil known as regolith simulant (or planetary soil simulant) for teachers and Home School parents to use in the classroom.
A regolith simulant is a terrestrial material that educators can use to simulate the chemical and mechanical properties of Martian or Lunar soil for research and experiments in the classroom.
Alamo Space Dirt uses formulas based on the chemical signature of the soils collected by the Mars Curiosity rover and the lunar Lunokhod 1 rover. Their simulants are a 100% chemical match to the NASA rovers soil analysis. The Mars and Lunar formulas are based on scientific data published by the The Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science
Like a cake recipe, earthly ingredients can be mixed in different ways to mimic soil from various planets. says astrophysicist Russell Clark, owner of Alamo Space Dirt. “With these recipes we can produce many planetary variations,” Clark says. “Most of the minerals we need are found on Earth although some are very difficult to obtain.”
Clark thinks it is vital to future space colonization “To make research grade material available to science teachers and home school parents at an affordable price.” “After all.” he says, “The young students today are going to be the pioneer planetary colonists of tomorrow.” “We need to train them with the best, most realistic, tools available.”
“I want to provide all science teachers and Home school parents a simulate that is a 100% chemical match to NASA’s regoliths and is within most’s budgets.” says Clark.
Alamo Space Dirt believes there is a market for the simulant for educators in the classroom. At $17.95 for 2 pounds plus free shipping, this is an affordable tool for Science teachers and Home School parents to use for Planetary experiments in the classroom.