Planetary Simulant Database

Free Resource for Regolith Simulant Information


Based on Rietvelt refinement

Component wt.%
Plagioclase 42.9
Olivine 11.7
Pyroxene 11.0
Magnetite n.d.
Anhydrite n.d.
Hematite 1.7
Quartz 2.3
Calcite 1.5
Ilmenite 1.0
K-feldspar 2.3
Analcime 1.0
Goethite 1.7
Pyrite 0.6
Ferric sulfate 0.3
Amorphous + smectite 20.4

Bulk Chemistry

Oxide wt.%
SiO2 45.82
TiO2 1.06
Al2O3 13.66
FeOT 17.71
MnO 0.18
MgO 9.51
CaO 7.97
Na2O 3.05
K2O 0.54
P2O5 0.16
Cr2O3 0.06
Cl 0.43
%SO3 1.77
Total 99.65

Physical Properties

No data available


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Simulant Name: JSC-Rocknest
Availability: May Be Available
Fidelity: Enhanced
Developed By: Johnson Space Center
Available From: N/A
Publications: Clark, J. V. et al. (2020), JSC-Rocknest: A large-scale Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) based soil simulant for in-situ resource utilization water-extraction studies. Icarus, 351, 113939
Archer, P. D. Jr. et al. (2018), Augmenting the Mojave Mars Simulant to more closely match the volatile content of global martian soils based on Mars Science Laboratory Results. LPSC XLIX, Abstract #2806.

Johnson Space Center developed an augmented version of the original Mojave Mars Simulant to have a more realistic volatile release pattern matching the Rocknest sample at Gale crater, Mars. This was done by spiking the MMS simulant with various salts and oxides, and comparing the volatile release to results from the SAM instrument on MSL. The mineralogy and chemistry of the augmented MMS simulant differ somewhat from the Rocknest soil, for example there is much less of an amorphous component that is probably dominated by basaltic glass.

The purpose of this simulant is primarily for testing ISRU technology, with 800 kg already produced and more under development through a partnership with the USGS. It is not clear whether all the simulant produced will be kept internally by NASA, or whether any will be distributed to independent researchers.


Photograph of JSC-Rocknest from Clark et al. (2020):