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Simulant Name: MGS-1 Mars Global Simulant
Current Status: Available
Developed By: University of Central Florida
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.
The mineralogy below is the most up-to-date, superseding that described in Cannon et al. 2019.
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