Planetary Simulant Database

Colorado School of Mines

03/15/21 — Added the HIT-M-1 and Mars PJ simulants.

07/19/20 — Updated info for JSC-Rocknest based on a new publication, and added the Apollo LSS historical simulants.

05/06/20 — Added UoM-B and UoM-W, two new basic fidelity lunar simulants from the University of Manchester.

03/20/20 — Simulant DB website launched (migrated from UCF server). All simulants now contained in an actual database with filtered search capabilities.

Recent Simulant Research

Email if you need PDF copies of these papers.

Eichler et al., Challenging the agricultural viability of martian regolith simulants

Clark et al., JSC-Rocknest: A large-scale Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) based soil simulant for in-situ resource utilization water-extraction studies

Atkinson et al., Penetration and relaxation behavior of JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant under cryogenic conditions

View archive

Simulant Availability

Not Available: simulant is decades old and known not to be produced or in wide circulation.

May Be Available: simulant is not easily available online, but may be available from the producers in small amounts, or was widely circulated with many individuals keeping stashes in their labs.

Available: simulant is known to be readily available to anyone; new batches are continually produced, or a large stock exists.

Simulant Fidelity

Fidelity Guide (PDF)

Fidelity is subjective. Here, we do not use complex and unwieldy systems like Figures of Merit, and avoid using judgement terms like "low fidelity". A simulant described by some as "low fidelity" may be perfectly suited for some applications. Instead, we use a 3-tiered system with a 4th category for specialty simulants.

Basic: Usually a single rock type that has been crushed into a powder. May not accurately re-produce the chemistry or mineralogy of reference materials. Many of these are referred to as "geotechnical simulants", even if their geotechnical properties have not been adjusted to achieve high accuracy.

Standard: For lunar highlands, crushed anorthosite with or without extra components, crushed to a representative particle size distribution. For lunar mare, a basaltic material with or without extra components, crushed to a representative particle size distribution. For Mars, a basaltic feedstock (or individual silicates) mixed with secondary oxides and/or salts. For asteroids, either the mineralogy or the physical properties are highly accurate.

Enhanced: For lunar simulants, a material that meets the "Standard" definition and has synthetic agglutinates added (not just glass). For Mars, a simulant with completely accurate mineralogy and a representative particle size distribution. For asteroids, both the mineralogy and physical properties are highly accurate.

Specialty: Includes dust simulants, and simulants that replicate features including lunar volatiles, nanophase iron, etc.