Planetary Simulant Database: MMS Mojave Mars Simulant

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Mineralogy

Mineral Abundance (%)
Plagioclase ?
Pyroxene ?
Magnetite ?
Hematite ?
Ilmenite tr
Olivine tr

*tr = trace

Bulk Chemistry

Oxide Wt.%
SiO2 49.4
TiO2 1.09
Al2O3 17.1
Cr2O3 0.05
Fe2O3 10.87
MnO 0.17
MgO 6.08
CaO 10.45
Na2O 3.28
K2O 0.48
P2O5 0.17
SO3 0.10
LOI 3.39
Total 99.4

Physical Properties

The data here are for the MMS Sand I. More detailed physical properties are given in Peters et al. 2008

Property Value
Dry density 1.384 g/cm3
Internal friction angle 38°
Cohesion 0.81 kPa
Simulant Name: MMS Mojave Mars Simulant
Current Status: Not available outside of NASA
Developed By: JPL
Available From: N/A
Publications: Peters, G. H. et al. (2008), Mojave Mars Simulant–Characterization of a new geologic Mars analog. Icarus, 197, 470-479.

Mojave Mars Simulant was developed as a geotechnical Mars simulant by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was sourced from a basaltic flow in the Mojave desert, conveniently located close to JPL. The simulant had multiple varieties, including dust, sand, whole rocks, and a coarse sand and cinder that were described in an earlier conference abstract.

MMS was developed partly due to deficiencies in the other Mars simulant at the time, JSC Mars-1. Specifically, the hygroscopic properties of JSC Mars-1 make it a poor mechanical analog.

Peters et al. 2008 claim that 10 tons of MMS dust and sand were being stored at JPL, but it is not clear what became of this material. A commercial company, The Martian Garden, began selling what they claim is Mojave Mars Simulant under the names MMS-1 and -2, but there are descrepancies between the two that we describe on the MMS-1 and -2 pages, and the developers of MMS were not consulted by The Martian Garden.

Images

Photograph of the various MMS varieties, from Peters et al. 2008:

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