Planetary Simulant Database: JSC Mars-1/1A

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Mineral Abundance (%)
Palagonite majority
Plagioclase tr
Magnetite tr

*tr = trace

Bulk Chemistry

Oxide Wt.%
SiO2 43.48
TiO2 3.62
Al2O3 22.09
Cr2O3 0.03
Fe2O3 16.08
MnO 0.26
MgO 4.22
CaO 6.05
Na2O 2.34
K2O 0.70
P2O5 0.78
SO3 0.31
LOI (17.36)
Total 99.7

Physical Properties

No data available

Simulant Name: JSC Mars-1/1A
Current Status: Not available outside of NASA
Developed By: Johnson Space Center, Orbitec
Available From: N/A
Publications: Allen, C. C. et al. (1998), Martian Regolith Simulant JSC Mars-1. Lunar and Planetary Science XXIX, Abstract #1690.

JSC Mars-1 and -1A are spectral simulants that replicate the visible/near-infrared reflectance properties of dust-covered terrains on Mars. They were sourced from palagonitic tephra from the Pu’u Nene cinder cone between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The simulants are composed mostly of amorphous palagonite, with nanophase oxides giving them their orangeish color.

JSC Mars-1(A) contains significant amounts of volatiles and organic material, which have both been cited as challenges in using it as a realistic regolith simulant for Mars.

When the original supply of JSC Mars-1 ran out, Orbitec received a grant to re-produce the simulant from the same source, naming it JSC Mars-1A. Sometime in 2017, Orbitec’s simulant website went offline and this simulant seems to be unavailable outside of NASA, although many researchers still have small supplies.


Photograph of JSC Mars-1:

Other Martian Simulants
ES-X | JMSS-1 | JSC Mars-1/1A | KMS-1 | MGS-1 | MMS | MMS-1/2 | Salten Skov 1 | UC Mars1 | UF Acid-Alkaline-Salt