The lunar simulant used in the Plant the Moon Challenge is developed by the University of Central Florida’s CLASS Exolith Laboratory. The Exolith Lab determines simulant “recipes” using studies of lunar samples collected by the Apollo astronauts and from spacecraft studies of the Moon. Laboratory techniques measure the key physical properties of the lunar simulants (such as grain size and density) to ensure that these simulants are accurately simulating the lunar regolith.
The LHS-1 Lunar Highlands Simulant used in the Planth the Moon Challenge has been developed by the CLASS Exolith Lab. It is a high-fidelity, mineral-based simulant appropriate for a generic or average highlands location on the Moon. The simulant is not made of a single terrestrial lithology, but accurately captures the texture of lunar regolith by combining both mineral and rock fragments (i.e., polymineralic grains) in accurate proportions. The particle size distribution of the simulant is targeted to match that of typical Apollo soils.
Each team participating the Plant the Moon Challenge will receive 5 kilograms (11lbs) of LHS-1 simulant for use in your experiments, enough for up to 10 small vegetable crop growth experiments.