Now, Coffee in the newest regolith simulant, UCF’s Exolith Lab MGS-1

38C1603C-7240-4537-8824-F5F6D499EF75At the moment of transplantation to the MGS-1 soil. Wearing my N95 mask.


Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 1.56.47 PM

Above is the reflectance spectrum of MGS-1.  It’s not ALL RED (635-700 nm), is it?  In fact, its a pretty flat response to incoming light at longer wavelength.


It didn’t die instantly.  Yay! Today, we successfully transplanted our Kona Coffee arabica starter into MGS-1, the regolith simluant from the University of Central Florida’s Exolith Lab.  It is a Martian simulant of global character, having been simulated on a “scooped” analysis of Rover soil at the Rockness location (below).

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 1.57.18 PMMars Hand Lens Imager photo of the Rocknest soil and sample area (credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS). Mars Global Simulant-1 (MGS-1)

Mineralogy of MGS-1

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

Mineral Wt.%
Plagioclase 27.1
Basaltic glass 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 of MGS-1

Because MGS-1 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-1.

Oxide Wt.%
SiO2 45.57
TiO2 0.30
Al2O3 9.43
Cr2O3 0.12
FeOT 16.85
MnO 0.10
MgO 16.50
CaO 4.03
Na2O 3.66
K2O 0.43
P2O5 0.37
SO3 2.63
Total 99.99

Physical Properties

Particle size range: 0-1 mm
Mean particle size (by volume): 105 μm
Bulk density*: 1.29 g/cm3
*Note that bulk density is not an inherent property and depends on the level of compaction

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


Metzger, P. T., D. T. Britt, S. Covey, C. Schultz, K. M. Cannon, K. D. Grossman, J. G. Mantovani, and R. P. Mueller (2019), Measuring the fidelity of asteroid regolith and cobble simulants. Icarus, 321, 632-646.

Boivin, A. L., D. Hickson, C‐A Tsai, A. Cunje, R. R. Ghent, and M. Daly (2018), Broadband measurements of the complex permittivity of carbonaceous asteroid regolith analog materials. JGR Planets, 123, 3088-3104

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.


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