An image from the Zybek website.
An image from the Zybek website.

Get your fake moon rocks here

Been looking everywhere for realistic representations of the lunar surface? Look no more. Zybek Advanced Products, a Boulder-based firm just chosen for assistance by a University of Colorado-affiliated nonprofit dedicated to promoting space-industry entrepreneurship, has built "a full-scale plasma processing facility... used for manufacturing high-volume glass and mineral materials," including "lunar simulant materials." The idea, presumably, is that if NASA really is serious about a return mission to the moon, astronauts will need a realistic foundation for earthbound practice sessions, and not just any rocks will do. Sound like an unlikely business plan? Maybe so -- but it's one that just received a $20,000 grant. Next stop: Mars.

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