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Scientists make artificial Mars dirt, selling it for $ 20



Scientists do not expect that they will soon occupy the Martian soil, so they do themselves.

This red soil, called Mars "simulant", was developed by astrophysicists from the University of Central Florida to give researchers a useful approach to the actual, distant extraterrestrial ground. This could be particularly relevant to testing the growth of crops or how to use surface exploration equipment.

NASA Kennedy Space Center has already placed an order for $ 20 per kilogram, according to the university.

  Mars simulant in a bowl.

Mars simulant in a bowl.

Image: University of Central Florida

"The simulans are useful for research when we go to Mars," said Dan Britt. a researcher at the University of Central Florida's Planetary Sciences Group: "When we go, we need food, water, and other important things, and as we develop solutions, we need a way to test what those ideas look like."

The artificial Martian soil is modeled on the iron-rich volcanic soil that covers the red planet. The researchers published their findings in the planetary science journal Icarus.

Like any other world Marble soils occur in all sorts of ways – clay, sand and saline filth – and the lab plans to use standardized methods to produce consistent simulants, so those preparing for space exploration to perform reliable experiments.

It's not just Martian soil that's in demand, the lab also (19659002) But there's no potential human colony as far away as Mars, which is on average about 140 million miles from Earth. Brazen colonizers will almost certainly have to produce their own food, and perhaps use Marble soils and minerals to get this job done.

"You do not want to find out that your method did not work when we were actually there," said Britt. It takes years to get there. "

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