Off Planet Research

Off Planet Research News


Off Planet Research News

What have we been working on lately? Check out below!

Credit:  China National Space Administration

Credit: China National Space Administration

China has grown plants on the Moon. What happens next?

Article Note: Off Planet Research provided expert commentary and background for this article. OPR produces several different types of lunar simulant, one of which is an agricultural grade simulant.
China’s Chang’E-4 lander delivers another first: it’s growing plants on the far side of the Moon…. (2019)

Image from

Image from

Getting the dirt on space research

Washington has had a space cluster since the beginning of the space program. Companies like Aerojet and Boeing paved the way for newcomers who are finding new ways to not only explore the cosmos, but make it commercially viable.
A small startup called Off Planet Research is one such visionary company. They make extra-terrestrial materials..... (2018)


Local Firm Creates World’s Largest Lunar Lab in Lacey

“Once you’ve landed on the Moon, that is not the best place to discover your equipment needs more testing,” quips Melissa Roth, one of the co-owners and lead researchers of Off Planet Research (OPR).
The surface of the Moon may not seem like a top business destination, but OPR’s founder, co-owner, and lead researcher Vince Roux said the private sector is leading the charge with at least 20 announced Moon missions in the next five years.... (2018)


Alumni Reaching for the Moon

When they were undergraduates, Saint Martin's Alumni, Melissa Roth '17, Vincent Roux '17, and Jamie Widdowson '17, established a process to create large quantities of high-quality lunar regolith (soil) simulant that includes agglutinates (small mass of mineral and rock that are produced, on the moon, by micrometeorite impacts) that mimic those commonly found in actual lunar regolith...
Insights (2018)


Lunar Ambition; These Entrepreneurs Are Set To Turn Moon Dirt Into Pay Dirt

Vince Roux doesn't like modern Science Fiction movies. "They're just so...clean," laughs the Mechanical Engineer. "They're always so white and spotless when they're on the surface of the moon or something. All of the stuff they concoct, that may  just be the most grossly inaccurate."

Hollywood, of course, will likely keep whitewashing the dirty.... 
South Sound Business Journal (2018)

Presentation Poster 2018.jpg

LSPC 2018 Presentation on our successful simulation of lunar ice

We successfully simulated lunar ice based on the observations made during the LCROSS mission.  We froze the ice inside our general use Highland and Mare simulants, and observed the mechanical differences in the resulting ice/regolith mixtures.  We learned a great deal about how to make lunar ices, which is quite challenging.  There are several notable differences in the structure and physical properties between Highland and Mare regolith based ices.


Off Planet Research Brings Lunar Equipment Testing to Olympia

Olympia, we have a solution! To a problem that you probably were not even aware existed. But Washingtonian Vince Roux, lead researcher at Off Planet Research, was very conscious of the problem. (2018)


2017 Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Presentation

With the renewed urgency of returning to the moon and the resulting need to conduct testing of moon-bound technologies, the natural urge is to repeat past patterns and buy a batch of “good enough” simulant that is similar to, but not the same as previously produced simulants. The additional commitment of building and operating the required testing facility....


New Moon-Rock Recipe Could Help Test Rovers

A technology for producing a material that closely resembles the rocky regolith found on the surface of the moon could help scientists design better, more resilient lunar rovers
"The material on the moon is so aggressive that it destroys the technologies that we send up there," Vince Roux, one of the creators of the artificial lunar regolith, told "That's why most of the missions.... (2017)


2016 Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Presentation

Currently, there is a lack of high fidelity lunar highland regolith simulant available in large quantities and contained in an appropriately controlled laboratory environment. The absence of this resource is preventing long term, full-scale testing of proposed lunar technologies...