Encouraging results from the first LUVMI volatiles test campaign......
Last month, the first LUVMI Volatiles sampler test campaign was completed. Its purpose was to demonstrate the extraction of volatiles under representative circumstances (similar to the harsh environment of the Moon). The results were encouraging. Now that this first attempt has been successful, we’ll conduct a more extensive test campaign next.
Heater prototypes for the Volatiles Sampler being tested in a Thermal vacuum chamber. The heater consists of a resistive heating coil molded in ceramic insulation, surrounded by a stainless steel mantle. The reddish color shows a temperature of up to 800°C, more than enough to release all volatile compounds from the lunar soil.
The third and fourth picture show the assembled volatiles sampler lab prototype in a sample of regolith simulant in the stainless steel bucket. Liquid nitrogen is used to cool the sample to -196°C (the cooling and the thermal vacuum chamber is shown in the last picture).