Planetary Simulant Database: GRC-1/3 Glenn Research Center

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No data available

Bulk Chemistry

No data available

Physical Properties

More detailed physical properties are given in Oravec et al. (2010) and He et al. (2013)

Property GRC-1 GRC-3
Specific gravity 2.58 2.63
Minimum density (g/cm3) 1.60 1.89
Maximum density (g/cm3) 1.89 1.94
Simulant Name: GRC-1/3 Glenn Research Center
Current Status: Unknown
Developed By: Glenn Research Center
Available From: N/A
Publications: Oravec, H. A. et al. (2010), Design and characterization of GRC-1: A soil for lunar terramechanics testing in Earth-ambient conditions. Journal of Terramechanics, 47, 361-377.

He, C. et al. (2013), Geotechnical Properties of GRC-3 Lunar Simulant. Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 26, 528-534.

GRC-1 and -3 are purely geotechnical simulants designed to test vehicle traction in lunar soils. They were developed by mixing different commercial silica sand products from the Best Sand Corporation in Chardon, OH. GRC-1 consists of 36% BS110, 8% BS530, 24% BS565, and 32% BS1635. GRC-3 is composed of 6% BS620, 10% BS2040, 16% BS565, 16% BS110, and 52% Bonnie silt (a natural loess from Burlington, CO).

It isn’t clear whether ‘GRC-2’ was ever produced or what it was made of. Because these are geotechnical simulants, the mineralogy and chemistry are not available, but pictures suggest the simulants are mostly quartz. A pair of papers describe the detailed geotechnical properties of both GRC-1 (Oravec et al. 2010) and GRC-3 (He et al. 2013). The current status of the simulants and the raw commercial materials is unknown.


Photograph of GRC-1 from Oravec et al. 2010:

Other Miscellaneous Lunar Simulants
CMU-1 | GRC-1/3 | Kohyama