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The limited real data available on the lunar environment is presented and several selected references are listed. Soil is usually tested for the properties that are expected to change and differ from one environment to another, whereas the properties that are more or less in equilibrium in any terrestrial environment are not tested. It is argued that when the lunar soil is to be examined one must determine the lunar environments under which the soil originated before proceeding to select the proper tests for the soil. Meteorites, the only extraterrestrial and possibly the only lunar soil samples available at present, are discussed and their igneous origin postulated. Results of laboratory examinations under controlled high pressure (40,000 atmos) and high temperature (over 1000 C) are presented. However, no conclusion as to the mode of origin of the meteorites and the lunar soil has been reached yet.
Northrop Space Laboratories, Hawthorne, Calif.