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UCF Receives $7.5 Million Grant From NASA


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Dan Britt is part of a team that will study some of the oldest asteroids in the solar system. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

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UCF’s Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science recently received a $7.5 million grant from NASA.

The lab makes synthetic soil mimicking the conditions on Mars, the moon and asteroids.

The Center’s director Dr. Daniel Britt says the work produced by UCF’s program reduces the risk and cost of space exploration.

The grant will support the students who are conducting the research and allow for more to join the program.

“We have about 15 graduate students,” Britt said. “This will directly support another six or seven.”

The university’s Exolith Lab develops synthetic Mars, asteroid, and moon soil that closely imitates the samples obtained from space.

It is used by over 280 scientists worldwide. It’s used to ensure that soil doesn’t jam up engines and can handle a heavy rocket’s exhaust.


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