MGS-1 Mars Global Simulant
MGS-1 Mars Global Simulant
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MGS-1 Mars Global Simulant

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1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds

All Exolith Lab products are intended for research and STEM education purposes. By purchasing, you agree that the product will be used for research and STEM education purposes.

Simulant Name: MGS-1 Mars Global Simulant
Current Status: 
Available
Developed By: 
University of Central Florida

Spec Sheet  SDS  Citation 

Mars Global Simulant (MGS-1) is a mineralogical standard for basaltic soils on Mars, developed based on quantitative mineralogy from the MSL Curiosity rover. It is designed to replicate the Rocknest windblown soil, that is chemically similar to other basaltic soils at disparate landing sites and thus constitutes a “global” basaltic soil composition. MGS-1 is made by sourcing individual minerals, including a proper treatment of the X-ray amorphous component. This is in contrast to previous Mars simulants that were usually sourced from a single terrestrial deposit (basalt or palagonite).

Modified versions include MGS-1S Sulfate ISRU and MGS-1C Clay ISRU, specifically designed for water extraction applications. The root MGS-1 simulant is appropriate to test water extraction from bulk regolith.

The mineral recipe and production methods are available for anyone to reproduce and modify MGS-1 based simulants as they see fit. We are distributing MGS-1 through the CLASS Exolith Lab.


Mineralogy

The mineralogy below is the most up-to-date, superseding that described in Cannon et al. 2019.

Mineral Wt.%
Plagioclase 27.1
Glass-rich basalt 22.9
Pyroxene 20.3
Olivine 13.7
Mg-sulfate 4.0
Ferrihydrite 3.5
Hydrated silica 3.0
Magnetite 1.9
Anhydrite 1.7
Fe-carbonate 1.4
Hematite 0.5

 

Bulk Chemistry

This table shows the relative abundances of each element detected by X-ray fluorescence (XRF). The relative abundances of elements detected by XRF in geological samples are quantified as oxides. In the simulant, these elements are contained in the minerals described in the Mineralogy table above, and not necessarily in oxide form. These data are from the Hamilton Analytical Lab.

Oxide Wt%
SiO2 42.9
TiO2 0.6
Al2O3 12.8
FeO 11.2
MnO 0.1
MgO 14.6
CaO 7.4
Na2O
1.5
K2O 0.6
P2O5 0.1
LOI* 5.3
Total** 97.1

*Loss on ignition

**Excluding volatiles and trace elements; see spec sheet.


Physical Properties

Particle size range: <0.04 – 600 μm
Mean particle size (by volume): 90 μm
Bulk density*: 1.29 g/cm3
*Note that bulk density is not an inherent property and depends on the level of compaction

Photo Credit: Matthew Villegas, Exolith Lab