- The University of Central Florida is selling imitation Martian dirt.
- It costs $US20 ($28) for 2.2 pounds (1 kg).
- Shipping is not included.
- The soil is meant to be a research tool ahead of space travel.
- There are currently 30 pending orders.
Space travel is time-consuming and expensive. And, hypothetically speaking, it would be pretty unfortunate to travel the several-hundred days it takes to get to Mars only to find yourself under-prepared.
Enter the University of Central Florida’s solution to that very conundrum: Imitation Martian dirt, which is intended to be a research tool ahead of space travel,per UCF. The soil costs $US20 per 2.2 pounds (1 kg).
This video from UCF shows how the sausage is made, so to speak. The process is long and involves grinding, mixing, baking, and numerous other steps to produce the copper faux dirt.
The soil, also called a simulant, isn’t standardised, which can provide challenges, but it is helpful for research, UCF scientists say. UCF can also provide simulants for moon and asteroid soil. All the simulants have substitutions for potentially hazardous substances and meet NASA’s safety standards, per UCF.
At this time there are currently 30 pending orders for the mock Mars dirt – including one for half a ton from the Kennedy Space Center. The dirt is being sold strictly for research purposes.
The cost of shipping is not included.
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