Manufacture of glass and mirrors from lunar regolith simulant

Juergen Schleppi, Joseph Gibbons, Alexander Groetsch, Jim Buckman, Aidan Cowley, Nick Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)


Future planetary surface missions to the Moon or Mars, for example, can be augmented by the use of local materials, in order to reduce launch mass and expand mission capability. Using lunar regolith simulant and heating it within a susceptor-assisted microwave oven, it was possible to manufacture a variety of basaltic glasses. Furthermore, it was possible to shape these glasses by grinding and polishing the surface flat and smooth. Glasses manufactured from different lunar regolith simulants were coated with aluminium or silver, and the reflective properties of the resulting mirrors and uncoated surfaces were measured. It was shown that with a porous and/or smooth surface finish, mirrors could be made that reflect the incident solar light (400 nm–1250 nm) in-between 30% for the worst and 85% for the best samples. The same samples with uncoated surfaces showed to reflect less than 7% of incident solar light in the same wavelength range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3726-3747
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number5
Early online date19 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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