Moon dust in bags for Christmas
An astronaut centre aiming for the Moon should have some Moon dust in the garage: Last week, the first delivery of the Regolith simulant EAC-1A for LUNA arrived at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne.
An astronaut centre aiming for the Moon should have some Moon dust in the garage: Last week, the first delivery of the Regolith simulant EAC-1A for LUNA arrived at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. A total of 10 tons of the basaltic dust is now sitting in so-called Big Bags in Cologne, ready for preparatory activities in the next weeks and months. Transporting in Big Bags is the preferred technique to keep the Moon dust dry and to handle manageable quantities. This technique will likely also be used for the delivery to the test hall next year, where up to 1000 tons will arrive in a similar number of Big Bags. The “small” delivery just before Christmas also provided a small outlook into the logistical challenge: the lifting platform of the truck malfunctioned and delayed the unloading process somewhat. We hope for a smoother process with the large-scale delivery!
This recent delivery is used for tests and characterisation: On the one hand, further characterisation of the regolith simulant is needed for LUNA activities, such as the seismic measurements in the hall, where measurements will determine parameter like the compression wave velocity. On the other hand, some technical outfitting elements of the hall shall be tested with the material, like the prototype of a pneumatic ramp to simulate varying slopes in the lunar testbed.