NASA Funds Lunar ISRU Technology Development

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected two projects focused on finding and extracting lunar resources for continued funding under phase II of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

Radiation Detection Technologies, Inc. of Manhattan, Kan., was selected to continue developing a neutron energy detector capable of locating sub-surface ice deposits.

Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI), of Andover, Mass., is developing a solar concentrator system that would extract oxygen from lunar regolith.


Impacts on Asteroids Produce Regolith, Erase Small Craters

A shaded-relief map of a surface cratering simulation of near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros, color-coded according to surface elevation (blue = -125 meters, pink = +125 meters). The surface is shown after 400 million years of exposure to the Main Asteroid Belt, where Eros spent most of its lifetime. (Credit: James Richardson)

TUCSON (PSI PR) — Impact cratering both produces new regolith and causes seismic events that can degrade and erase small craters on the surface of asteroids, a paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist James Richardson says.


New Camera System to Offer High-Resolution Images and Video of Lunar Landings

The Heimdall camera system. (Credit: Malin Space Science Systems)

TUCSON (Planetary Science Institute PR) — A new spacecraft-mounted camera system funded by NASA is poised to return the first high-resolution video of a landing plume as it lands on the Moon.

The Heimdall camera system project, headed by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist R. Aileen Yingst, consists of four color cameras and a DVR to store images until they can be uplinked to Earth.