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Space Resource Utilization: Technologies and Potential Synergism with Terrestrial MiningSpace Resources and Their Uses: The idea of using resources in space to support human exploration and settlement or for economic development and profit beyond the surface of Earth has been proposed and discussed for decades. Work on developing a method to extract oxygen from lunar regolith started even before humans set foot on the Moon for the first time. The use of space resources, commonly referred to as In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), involves the processes and operations to harness and utilize resources in space (both natural and discarded) to create products for subsequent use. Potential space resources include water, solar wind implanted volatiles (hydrogen, helium, carbon, nitrogen, etc.), vast quantities of metals and minerals in extraterrestrial soils, atmospheric constituents, unlimited solar energy, regions of permanent light and darkness, the vacuum and zero-gravity of space itself, trash and waste from human crew activities, and discarded hardware that has completed its primary purpose. ISRU covers a wide variety of concepts, technical disciplines, technologies, and processes. When considering all aspects of ISRU, there are 5 main areas that are relevant to human space exploration and the commercialization of space: 1. Resource Characterization and Mapping, 2. In Situ Consumables Production, 3. Civil Engineering and Construction, 4. In Situ Energy Production and Storage, and 5. In Situ Manufacturing.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sanders, Gerald B.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
March 24, 2015
Publication Date
May 10, 2015
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) 2015 Convention
Location: Montreal, QC
Country: Canada
Start Date: May 10, 2015
End Date: May 13, 2015
Sponsors: Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM), Deltion Innovations Ltd., Space Resources Roundtable, Inc. (SRR)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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