The Colorado School of Mines is keeping an eye to the sky with plans to launch a first of its kind Space Resources graduate program that will focus on the exploration and extraction of resources from the Moon, Mars, asteroids and more.
“In recent years there has been a growing interest by space agencies and the private sector in resources found beyond our planet, such as water, gases, minerals, and metals, to be used in space instead of launching them from Earth,” said Angel Abbud- Madrid, director of the Mines Center for Space Resources.
“This often-called ‘living-off-the-land’ approach has been driven by an awareness that further development of space travel will be enabled through processing of materials and production of propellants in space for more affordable and flexible transportation, facilities construction and life support.”
The plan is to launch the first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary graduate program in 2018.
The first course, called Space Resources Fundamentals, will be offered for the first time this fall.
Once it’s fully implemented, the program is expected to offer post-baccalaureate certificates, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.
Since the 1990s, Mines has been a leading institution for the study of space resources and in situ resource utilization (ISRU). It has also become a destination for space scientists and engineers, government agencies, aerospace companies, entrepreneurs, the mining and minerals industry, financial and legal experts, and policy makers to discuss all topics related to space resources, the school said in a statement.