Lunar regolith specimens collected during the Apollo missions are still available though precious, so testing with simulant is required before applying to use lunar regolith samples. Hence, we used for these studies JSC-1a, mostly an aluminosilicate glass and basaltic material containing substantial amounts of plagioclase, some olivine and traces of other minerals.
Objectives of this project include: 1) Manufacturing samples using as little raw material as possible, allowing the use of surface chemistry and kinetics tools to determine the feasibility of parallel studies on regolith, and 2) Characterizing the adsorption kinetics of water on the regolith simulant. This has implications for the probability of finding water on the moon and, if present, for recovery techniques.
For condensed water films, complex TDS data were obtained containing multiple features, which are related to subtle rearrangements of the water adlayer. Results from JSC-1a TDS studies indicate: 1) Water dissociation on JSC-1a at low exposures, with features detected at temperatures as high as 450 K and 2) The formation of 3D water clusters and a rather porous condensed water film. It appears plausible that the sub-Ým sized particles act as nucleation centers.