Geotechnical Properties of the Maryland-Sanders Lunar Simulant

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Courtesy of ASTM International

Densely compacted Maryland-Sanders ground basalt was examined for the similarity of its geotechnical properties to those estimated for lunar regolith. Minimum and maximum densities fell within the upper range of those calculated to exist on the moon. Cone penetration resistances measured on specimens compressed to 80 and 100% relative densities bracket those reported for stress equivalent depths on the moon. The results of direct shear tests on specimens compressed to 100% relative density with normal stresses varying from 21 to 100 kN/m2 gave straight-line strength envelopes of c = 14 kN/m2 and f = 39° for peak strength and c = 9 kN/m2 and f = 37° for postpeak strength. Values of f fall within the range of values extrapolated from lunar cone penetration tests, but values of cohesion are substantially greater. This difference is attributed to effects of test stress levels and soil anisotropy.

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