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MGS-1 Mars Global Simulant

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Simulant Name: MGS-1 Mars Global Simulant
Availability: Available
Fidelity: Enhanced
Developed By: Kevin Cannon
Available From: Exolith Lab
Publications: Cannon, K. M., D. T. Britt, T. M. Smith, R. F. Fritsche, and D. Batcheldor (2019), Mars Global Simulant MGS-1: A Rocknest-based Open Standard for Basaltic Martian Regolith Simulants. Icarus, 317, 470-478.

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.

Since the original MGS-1 was developed, the Exolith Lab has switched to using Greenspar250 as the plagioclase feedstock for the material. This Greenspar250 does not have particles larger than 250 microns and is not representative of analyses of martian soils. There is some information indicating that Exolith has switched to BP-1 as a basaltic source material, and it is not clear the extent to which this is being used in this simulant.