Airbus, Air Liquide and ispace Europe Launch EURO2MOON, a Non-profit Platform to Explore Future Uses of Lunar Resources

The European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) announces its intention to join this organization as the first non-founding member

DUBAI, UAE, 26 October 2021 (ispace PR) – In the context of increased momentum around space exploration, Airbus Defense & Space, Air Liquide and ispace Europe have announced the joint creation of EURO2MOON.

Bringing in complementary expertise from public and private partners, EURO2MOON will focus on topics related to the exploration of the lunar surface and the utilization of its resources in a commercial and sustainable way.

The objective is to create a platform of exchange in order to build a common vision and promote it among the European industrial and institutional ecosystems, including recommendations on global roadmaps, demonstration concepts and commercial programs. Topics to be addressed will include long duration transport, life support, energy needs for scientific and commercial applications.

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Airbus Defence and Space, Mexican Space Agency and Mexican Start-up Dereum Labs to Collaborate on Lunar Resources Extraction Technologies

The ROXY system will extract oxygen and metals from lunar regolith. (Credit: Airbus)

Mexican Space Agency support will help create a new In-Situ Resources Utilisation Programme

Mexico, 24 September 2021– Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and the Mexican start-up Dereum Labs to collaborate on the technologies needed for lunar resources extraction. This will lead to the creation of a new Mexican In-Situ Resources Utilisation (ISRU) Programme for lunar extraction and help develop the necessary industrial ecosystem for this technology in-country.

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University of Cincinnati Reactor Makes Martian Fuel

UC chemical engineering assistant professor Jingjie Wu, left and doctoral student Tianyu Zhang are experimenting with different catalysts to convert carbon dioxide to storable fuel to address climate change. (Credit: Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand)

by Michael Miller
University of Cincinnati

Engineers at the University of Cincinnati are developing new ways to convert greenhouse gases to fuel to address climate change and get astronauts home from Mars.

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science assistant professor Jingjie Wu and his students used a carbon catalyst in a reactor to convert carbon dioxide into methane. Known as the “Sabatier reaction” from the late French chemist Paul Sabatier, it’s a process the International Space Station uses to scrub the carbon dioxide from air the astronauts breathe and generate rocket fuel to keep the station in high orbit.

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EPSC 2021: Life Support Cooked up From Lunar Rocks

Artist impression of a Moon Base concept. (Credit: ESA – P. Carril)

STRASBOURG, France (Europlanet Society PR) — Engineers have successfully shown how water and oxygen can be extracted by cooking up lunar soil, in order to support future Moon bases. A laboratory demonstrator, developed by a consortium of the Politecnico Milano, the European Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency and the OHB Group, is presented this week at the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2021.

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ispace to Collaborate on Lunar Resources Extraction Rover with Haptic Robotic Arm and Mixed Reality (XR) Functions

Memorandum of Understanding signed with Canadian company Stardust and Australia’s University of Technology Sydney and EXPLOR Space Technologies

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace), ispace Europe SA (ispace Europe), Stardust Technologies Inc. (Stardust), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and EXPLOR Space Technologies (EXPLOR) collectively signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a mining rover with a multipurpose robotics arm utilizing virtual reality, haptic feedback in the framework of in situ resource utilization (ISRU) activities on the Moon.

Under the proposed collaboration, the parties involved plan to engage in the form of one or more of the following:

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Redwire Developing Key Technologies to Build Sustainable Lunar Infrastructure

Redwire’s Additive Manufacturing Device, which will be used to run the regolith simulant prints for the Redwire Regolith Print mission. (Credit: Redwire)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NASA PR) — The farther humans go into deep space, the more important it will be to generate products with local materials. Reducing Earth delivery requirements reduces overall mission cost and launch weight.  It also allows for the construction of infrastructure using space-based resources, a practice called in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). NASA is making long term investments to advance ISRU technology across multiple areas, including regolith-based in-space manufacturing and construction.

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Israel’s Helios Signs Agreement with iSpace to Produce Oxygen on the Moon

Helios’ oxygen production solution, supported by the Israel Space Agency, could reduce the number of launches from Earth and allow for a long-term human presence in deep space. (Credit: Helios)

TEL AVIV (Israel Space Agency PR) — The Israeli company Helios, which develops technology for extracting oxygen from the lunar soil, signed the first Israeli-Japanese agreement for technological cooperation on July 19. Helios, with the support of the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, will be integrated into the mission to the moon of the Japanese company ispace. As part of the mission, the Israeli company will conduct a demonstration of technology for extracting oxygen and metal from the lunar regolith.

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France-Luxembourg Space Cooperation Agreement to Focus on Exploration and Space Resources

LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Space Agency PR) — CNES, the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) and Air Liquide signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) confirming their commitment to work together on developing research and technology (R&T) activities. In the months ahead, the four partners will be pursuing their discussions on research projects encompassing space exploration and in situ resource utilization (ISRU).

A first CNES-LSA workshop in September 2020 identified joint initiatives aiming in particular to address the challenges and opportunities arising out of developments in space exploration. At the same time, LSA, ESRIC and Air Liquide, drawing on a 50-year heritage of handling gases in space, engaged discussions with a view to collaborating on production and use of gases produced from in situ space resources.

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NASA Selects University Teams to Develop Moon, Mars Mission Design Ideas

NASA, in partnership with the National Space Grant Foundation, has selected six university teams to develop innovative design ideas that will help NASA advance and execute its Moon to Mars exploration objectives. 

The selections are a part of the 2022 Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation (M2M X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge, sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division. The winning teams will be given monetary awards ranging from $15,000-$50,000 to assist them in designing and producing studies, research findings, or functional products that could advance capabilities and lower technology risks related to NASA’s Moon to Mars space exploration missions. 

This year’s winning M2M X-Hab Challenge teams will design, manufacture, assemble, test, and demonstrate functional prototype subsystems and innovations that enable increased functionality for human space exploration missions in the following areas: 

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Lunar IceCube Passes Critical Testing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Lunar IceCube CubeSat hardware (Credit: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — The Lunar IceCube CubeSat successfully passed essential environmental testing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The spacecraft, pictured above, will fly aboard the upcoming Artemis I mission to the Moon as a secondary payload to investigate the amount and distribution of water ice on the Moon.

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An Israeli Company Intends to Produce Oxygen from Lunar Soil

Helios’ solution, supported by the Israel Space Agency, could reduce the number of launches from Earth and allow for a long-term human presence in deep space. (Credit: Helios)

TZUR YIGAL, Israel (Israel Space Agency PR) — Meet the startup that wants to make oxygen from Moon: Helios, supported by the Israel Space Agency and the Ministry of Science and Technology, plans to launch the first experiment to the International Space Station next year. Helios is developing technology that will allow oxygen to be produced directly from lunar soil. If it succeeds, the small startup from Israel will pave the way for human settlement on the moon and Mars.

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NASA Rover to Search for Water, Other Resources on Moon

NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, is a mobile robot that will roam around the Moon’s south pole looking for water ice. The VIPER mission will give us surface-level detail of where the water is and how much is available for us to use. This will bring us a significant step closer towards NASA’s ultimate goal of a sustainable, long-term presence on the Moon – making it possible to eventually explore Mars and beyond. (Credit: NASA Ames/Daniel Rutter)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — As part of the Artemis program, NASA is planning to send its first mobile robot to the Moon in late 2023 in search of ice and other resources on and below the lunar surface. Data from the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, would help the agency map resources at the lunar South Pole that could one day be harvested for long-term human exploration at the Moon. 

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Metalysis–ESA Grand Challenge: Team Malt Wins First Phase

Architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has designed a semi-inflatable lunar habitat. Multiple habitats would be built up over time on the lip of Shackleton Crater near the lunar south pole, offering continuous views of Earth as well as near-continuous sunlight and water ice in adjacent ‘cold trap’ craters. (Credit: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Metalysis and ESA announce team Malt as winner of the first phase of the Grand Challenge to develop innovative techniques for future lunar settlements.

“ESA’s Grand Challenge fosters New Space initiatives in Europe and this brings us into contact with dynamic start-up companies such as Malt. Our first challenge, in partnership with Metalysis, moves us closer to our space exploration goals and will stimulate space commercialisation in line with ESA’s Agenda 2025,” commented ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.

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Long March 6 Launches 9 Satellites into Orbit

Long March 6 lifts off from Taiyuan on April 27, 2021. (Credit: CASC)

A Chinese Long March 6 booster launched nine satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on Tuesday at 11:20 a.m. local time in the inaugural flight of a new commercial rideshare program.

Long March 6 placed the following satellites into sun synchronous orbit:

  • Origin Space NEO-1 — asteroid mining technology demonstration
  • Qilu-1 — synthetic aperture radar
  • Qilu-4 — optical remote sensing
  • Foshan-1 — optical remote sensing
  • Apocalypse Constellation Zero Nine Star — Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Golden Bauhinia-1 01 — visible light remote sensing
  • Golden Bauhinia-1 02 — visible light remote sensing
  • Zhongan Guotong-1 — optical remote sensing
  • Tianqi-9 — optical remote sensing
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NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen from Red Planet

Technicians at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory lower the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — The growing list of “firsts” for Perseverance, NASA’s newest six-wheeled robot on the Martian surface, includes converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen. A toaster-size, experimental instrument aboard Perseverance called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. The test took place April 20, the 60th Martian day, or sol, since the mission landed Feb. 18.

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