JMSS-1: a new Martian soil simulant

Research paper by Xiaojia Zeng, Xiongyao Li, Shijie Wang, Shijie Li, Nicole Spring, Hong Tang, Yang Li, Junming Feng

Indexed on: 20 May '15Published on: 20 May '15Published in: Earth, Planets and Space


It is important to develop Martian soil simulants that can be used in Mars exploration programs and Mars research. A new Martian soil simulant, called Jining Martian Soil Simulant (JMSS-1), was developed at the Lunar and Planetary Science Research Center at the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The raw materials of JMSS-1 are Jining basalt and Fe oxides (magnetite and hematite). JMSS-1 was produced by mechanically crushing Jining basalt with the addition of small amounts of magnetite and hematite. The properties of this simulant, including chemical composition, mineralogy, particle size, mechanical properties, reflectance spectra, dielectric properties, volatile content, and hygroscopicity, have been analyzed. On the basis of these test results, it was demonstrated that JMSS-1 is an ideal Martian soil simulant in terms of chemical composition, mineralogy, and physical properties. JMSS-1 would be an appropriate choice as a Martian soil simulant in scientific and engineering experiments in China’s Mars exploration in the future.