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Shear strength of lunar soil from oceanus procellarum

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Abstract

Soil from the scoop of Surveyor 3, returned to Earth by Apollo 12 astronauts, has been tested in a miniature shear box at five bulk densities, from 0.99 to 1.87 g cm−3. Cohesion increased with bulk density from 3 × 10−2 to 3 × 10−1 N cm−2; internal friction angle increased from 13° to 56°. Shear stress vs normal stress data fit a logarithmic relationship better than a linear one, at normal stresses of 3 × 10−3 to 3 x 100 N cm−2. Results of these tests, in air, show no systematic differences from those for tests made elsewhere in vacuum and nitrogen. Results agree with those obtained in remotely controlled lunar surface operations with Surveyor 3 and other spacecraft provided that the bulk density was slightly underestimated for the on-surface measurements.

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Paper dedicated to Prof. Harold C. Urey on the occasion of his 80th birthday on 29 April 1973.

This work represents one phase of research conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, under Contract NAS 7-100.

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Jaffe, L.D. Shear strength of lunar soil from oceanus procellarum. The Moon 8, 58–72 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00562750

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Keywords

  • Nitrogen
  • Shear Stress
  • Shear Strength
  • Bulk Density
  • Normal Stress