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Evaluation of lunar rocks and soils for resource utilization: Detailed image analysis of raw materials and beneficiated productsThe rocks and soils of the Moon will be the raw materials for fuels and construction needs at a lunar base. This includes sources of materials for the generation of hydrogen, oxygen, metals, and other potential construction materials. For most of the bulk material needs, the regolith, and its less than 1 cm fraction, the soil, will suffice. But for specific mineral resources, it may be necessary to concentrate minerals from rocks or soils, and it is not always obvious which is the more appropriate feedstock. Besides an appreciation of site geology, the mineralogy and petrography of local rocks and soils is important for consideration of the resources which can provide feedstocks of ilmenite, glass, agglutinates, anorthite, etc. In such studies, it is very time-consuming and practically impossible to correlate particle counts (the traditional method of characterizing lunar soil petrography) with accurate modal analyses and with mineral associations in multi-mineralic grains. But x ray digital imaging, using x rays characteristic of each element, makes all this possible and much more (e.g., size and shape analysis). An application of beneficiation image analysis, in use in our lab (Oxford Instr. EDS and Cameca SX-50 EMP), was demonstrated to study mineral liberation from lunar rocks and soils. Results of x ray image analysis are presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Taylor, Lawrence A. (Tennessee Univ. Knoxville., United States)
Chambers, John G. (Tennessee Univ. Knoxville., United States)
Patchen, Allan (Tennessee Univ. Knoxville., United States)
Jerde, Eric A. (Tennessee Univ. Knoxville., United States)
Mckay, David S. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Graf, John (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Oder, Robin R. (Exportech Co., Inc. New Kensington, PA., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19940015909Analytic PrimaryWorkshop on the Martian Northern Plains: Sedimentological, Periglacial, and Paleoclimatic Evolution19940016163Analytic PrimaryTwenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z