MGS-1S Sulfate ISRU

Exolith Simulant: MGS-1S Sulfate ISRU


Mineral Wt.%
Gypsum 40.0
Plagioclase 16.4
Glass-rich basalt 13.7
Pyroxene 12.2
Olivine 8.2
Mg-sulfate 2.4
Ferrihydrite 2.1
Hydrated silica 1.8
Magnetite 1.1
Anhydrite 1.0
Fe-carbonate 0.8
Hematite 0.3

Bulk Chemistry

Because MGS-1S is a mineralogical standard, the bulk chemistry of simulants created from the standard will differ depending on the crystal chemistry of the source minerals used. Below, we report the latest analysis for the production version of MGS-1S.

Oxide Wt.%
SiO2 29.29
TiO2 0.27
Al2O3 6.37
Cr2O3 0.13
FeOT 11.25
MnO 0.07
MgO 16.22
CaO 14.81
Na2O 2.11
K2O 0.45
P2O5 0.32
SO3 18.71
Total 100.0

Physical Properties

Particle size range: 0-1 mm
Mean particle size (by volume): 119 μm


MGS-1S is a modified version of the root MGS-1 simulant, and is enriched in the polyhydrated sulfate gypsum. This represents the Reference Case “B” in the NASA Mars Water In-Situ Resource Utilization Study.

MGS-1S is specifically designed for ISRU water extraction studies; the M-WIP study concluded that polyhydrated sulfate deposits represent a clear advantage over bulk regolith or clay-bearing deposits in terms of mass and power, and may be much easier to access and excavate than permafrost deposits.


Photograph of an MGS-1S prototype: