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.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.