Searching for a Martian soil simulant in UAE & Al Hajar Mountains-First simulants CUOS and MUOS
This study presents the first results for creating a Martian soil simulant from rocks in UAE and Al Hajar mountains including Sultanate of Oman. The Martian soil composition is now well known from rover missions and it is a regolith of oceanic crust composition (basaltic). The presence of the most extensive oceanic crust in parts Al Hajar mountains (Semail Ophiolites) is a triggering fact to search the possibility to create Martian soil simulants. Inhere we have collected 13 samples from volcanic basalts, gabbro harzburgite laterites and we assessed the mineral composition. We demonstrate the mixing process of the various rocks to create soil simulants. We have created two simulants, CUOS and MUOS following the compositions of Curiosity Mission measurements and MMS-1 soil simulant supplied by the Martian Garden company. The CUOS soil simulant showed moderate to good fitting in the mineralogy with the Curiosity Mission analysis in Rocknest Portage, while we were not able to attain similar mineralogical composition between MUOS and MMS-1 due to lower plagioclase content in our samples.