May 2023
Volume 75    Issue 5

NASA’s lunar ice-mining competition

Mining Engineering , 2023, Vol. 75, No. 5, pp. 45-45
Carrato, P.; Meadows, D.; Churchill, K.; Wingate, E.


Extracting lunar ice to be processed into pure water or hydrolyzed into oxygen and hydrogen faces many challenges. On the moon, icy-regolith deposits that contain up to 10 percent water are found within permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) at both lunar poles, where temperatures approach minus 220 °C. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has identified several technology gaps that exist in developing these resources, including:

Excavating large quantities of icy regolith.
Delivering large quantities of acquired resources.
Hardware that is lightweight and energy efficient.
Hardware that is reliable and durable.

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