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MGS-1C Clay ISRU

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Simulant Name: MGS-1C Clay ISRU
Availability: Available
Fidelity: Specialty
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.

MGS-1C is a modified version of the root MGS-1 simulant, and is enriched in hydrated clay minerals (smectite). This represents the Reference Case “C” in the NASA Mars Water In-Situ Resource Utilization Study.

MGS-1C is specifically designed for ISRU water extraction studies; the M-WIP study concluded that hydrated clay deposits are advantageous for water extraction on Mars, and may be much easier to access and excavate than permafrost deposits.

Since the original MGS-1C 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.