Planetary Simulant Database: Y-Mars

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Component Wt.%
Albite 31.1
Saponite 30.5
Augite 13.1
Magnetite 5.3
Enstatite 4.2
Dunite 3.9
Anhydrite 3.6
Sanidine 1.7
Pyrrhotite 2.9
Selenite 1.4

Bulk Chemistry

Oxide Wt.%
SiO2 44.97
Al2O3 13.31
Fe2O3 7.57
MgO 14.32
CaO 7.65
Na2O 2.23
K2O 0.08
TiO2 0.77
MnO 0.18
P2O5 0.09
Loss on ignition 8.33

Physical Properties

Property Value
Grain size 0.5-3.0 μm
Mean grain size 1.2 μm
Simulant Name: Y-Mars Mudstone Analogue
Current Status: Unknown
Developed By: UK Centre for Astrobiology
Available From: N/A

Publications: Stevens, A. H. et al. (2018), Y-Mars: An Astrobiological Analogue of Martian Mudstone. Earth and Space Science, 5, 163-174.

Y-Mars is a mineralogical analog of the Sheepbed mudstone investigated by the Curiosity rover at the Yellowknife Bay location in Gale crater. It was created by sourcing raw minerals or substitutes to match the quantitative mineralogy from ChemIn, except for the X-ray amorphous component that was not included. The minerals were ground to a fine powder then pressed into a pellet to simulate the burial pressure experienced by the Sheepbed mudstone.

Y-Mars was intended mostly for astrobiological applications; it is not known how much simulant has been produced, or the future plans for production/distribution.


Photograph of Y-Mars from Stevens, A. H. et al. (2018) (left) compared to the Sheepbed mudstone on Mars (right):

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