Planetary Simulant Database

Free Resource for Regolith Simulant Information


This is the mineralogy for bulk BP-1; separate splits give somewhat different values.

Mineral Weight %
Labradorite 60.7
Augite 23.7
Olivine 6.2
Magnetite 3.0
Calcite 2.7
Hematite 2.0
Quartz 1.7

Bulk Chemistry

Two samples from the west and east of the flow are given by Stoeser et al. (2010):

Oxide W172158 W172154
SiO2 47.2 46.9
TiO2 2.3 2.2
Al2O3 16.7 16.4
FeO 6.2 3.7
Fe2O3 5.9 8.2
MgO 6.5 5.6
CaO 9.2 9.6
Na2O 3.5 3.4
K2O 1.1 1.1
MnO 0.21 0.21
P2O5 0.52 0.51
H2O- 0.11 0.51
H2O+ 0.41 0.69
CO2 0.05 0.26
Total 99.90 99.28

Physical Properties

Property Value
Specific gravity 2.81
Minimum density 1.43 g/cm3
Maximum density 1.86 g/cm3
Peak angle of friction 39-51°
Cohesion 0-2.0 kPa

BP-1 Black Point

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Simulant Name: BP-1 Black Point
Availability: May Be Available
Fidelity: Basic
Developed By: Kennedy Space Center
Available From: N/A
Publications: Stoeser, D. B. et al. (2010), Preliminary Geological Findings on the BP-1 Simulant. NASA/TM-2010-216444.

Rahmatian, L. A., and P. T. Metzger (2010), Soil Test Apparatus for Lunar Surfaces. Earth and Space 2010: Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments.

Suescun-Florez, E. et al. (2010), Geotechnical Properties of BP-1 Lunar Regolith Simulant. Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 28, 04014124.

The BP-1 simulant was somewhat of an accident: during field work in Arizona, Jack Schmidt identified a silty deposit derived from the Black Point lava as having very similar physical properties to lunar soils. These deposits are leftovers (basically tailings) from gravel processing. The lava flow is fairly alkaline and becomes more brown and oxidized east of where the quarry for BP-1 is located.

BP-1 is a geotechnical simulant, in that its mineralogy and chemistry were not selected or modified to be similar to any known lunar samples. Because it is derived from basalt, the simulant is more similar to mare soils, but the plagioclase content is fairly high.

45 kg of material were initially brought back to KSC, and BP-1 seems to have been used extensively in robotic mining competitions there. It is unclear what the current status of this simulant is.


Photograph of BP-1: