Artificial moon soil receives ISRO patent
(ORDO NEWS) — Indian space agency ISRO has received a patent for its method of manufacturing the lunar soil.
As part of its Chandrayaan 2 moon landing mission, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had to prepare the artificial surface of the moon so that it could test the Vikram lander and the Pragyaan rover.
On May 18, the Indian Patent Office granted ISRO a patent for the invention of a method for manufacturing a lunar soil simulator. The patent is valid for 20 years from the filing date of the application.
“The surface of the earth and the surface of the moon are completely different. Therefore, we had to create an artificial surface of the Moon and test our rover and lander, ”said M. Annadurai, who resigned as director of the satellite center UR Rao (URSC), formerly ISRO Satellite Center, told IANS.
Importing artificial lunar soil from the United States was an expensive affair, and ISRO was looking for a local solution, as its need was around 60-70 tons.
Many geologists told ISRO that near the town of Salem (Tamil Nadu) there are anorthosite rocks that will look like features of lunar soil or regolith.
ISRO has completed the collection of anorthosite rocks from the villages of Sittampundi and Chinnamalai in Tamil Nadu to obtain lunar soil.
Annadurai said the stones were crushed to the required size and moved to Bangalore, where the Lunar Terrain test site was located and a test bench was created.
According to the filed patent documents, the invention relates to a lunar simulator obtained from a terrestrial analogue and to a method for its manufacture and manufacture.
The simulator is almost equivalent to the regolith of the lunar highlands and is comparable to the return samples of Apollo 16.
A lunar soil simulator can be used for scientific studies of the lunar topography associated with rover mobility, for scientific research or for studying the geotechnical / mechanical properties of lunar soil, for understanding the engineering behavior of lunar regolith, or for basic research.
Lunar exploration requires a complete understanding of the physical and chemical properties of lunar surface soil, since most building materials must be produced from regolith for human settlement on the moon.
Since the Vikram lunar landing mission successfully failed earlier, India is planning a similar mission in the future.
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