Scientists make artificial Martian dirt, will sell it to you for $20



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Scientists don’t expect to get their hands on Martian soil anytime soon, so they’re making their own.

Created by University of Central Florida astrophysicists, this red soil, called Mars “simulant,” is designed to give researchers a useful approximation of the actual, far-off extraterrestrial soil. This might be especially relevant for testing the growth of crops, or how exploration equipment might fare on the surface.

At $20 per kilogram (2.2 pounds), NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has already placed an order, according to the university

Mars simulant in a bowl.

Mars simulant in a bowl.

Image: University of Central Florida Read more…

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