Off Planet Research

Why We Only Rent Our Simulants

Why We Only Rent Our Simulants

We only rent our simulants instead of selling them to help ensure quality control.  We also make our laboratories and research facilities available for use by collaborators and clients for appropriate fees.

Positive Control

Maintaining the quality of our lunar regolith simulants, as well as the integrity of any test results that arise from the use of our simulants, is absolutely critical and in the best interests of Off Planet Research, our collaborators and clients, and the larger lunar research community. For this reason, we set very specific conditions on the use of our labs, facilities, and simulants.

Many of the simulants that are currently in circulation have been largely uncontrolled, used in a number of experiments, and exposed to unknown environments, so the condition of some of these simulants is uncertain. Experimental results from these uncontrolled simulants may also be suspect.

We would like any experiments done with our simulants to be conducted with a uniformity that can only be assured if we maintain positive control over them. We will keep records of all the licensed uses of our simulants and we may publish this documentation to ensure that none of our simulants are improperly used. We are very serious about quality control and consistency of our simulants. We own and maintain all of our own purpose-built equipment. We obtain all of our feedstocks from recognized dependable sources, and we maintain the mineralogical or chemical reports and control samples for all our stocks. We carefully control all of our production methods at every stage and maintain control samples of every batch of regolith simulant that we make so we can compare each batch to their predecessors and assure consistency of all our simulants. This allows us to produce the same product now and ten years from now. 

We Offer Our Simulants as a Service, Not a Product

We offer services, not products.  As researchers, we want to be able to use these simulants and labs ourselves. We want simulants the highest quality possible so they will produce good results, not only for us but also for our clients. We consider ourselves more of a service rather than a product line because we develop ongoing relationships with our clients that don’t just end with a purchase of simulant. We have extensive conversations with all potential clients to determine the type of simulants they need to meet their testing goals and ensure they are fully satisfied with what they will receive before the order is placed.

Depending on The Use and Conditions, Simulants will Degrade

It is critical that the quality and integrity of our lunar regolith simulants and the resulting test results are maintained. Over time simulants will degrade or become contaminated; destructive or aggressive testing like drilling will cause simulants to rapidly degrade. When simulants are altered, the original mechanical properties will change. It is important that the simulants used in testing remain consistent to produce consistent, meaningful test results. Therefore, we will switch-out the simulants a client rents if they degrade beyond a previously agreed point.

When simulants are returned, we thoroughly test them and either recondition and recertify them, or destroy them if necessary.  We want a client’s test results to be the same on Day 1, Day 90, or five years from now.