In Situ Resource Utilization, ISRU How to Use the Resources where you are Over the last 100,000 years When Humanity colonized the Earth, left one home land and went to new continents, They carried everything with them – Except…… The Biosphere – It was already everywhere…… The Air they breathed, was a part of the same biosphere New Plants, Animals & Foods, but common biological ancestry…. The Water after the first few days was available in common form… Building materials and resources were common and familiar.. They Used In-Situ Resources. So will we in space – but ….. In Space those Resources are much more primitive, combined, tightly bound chemically. The environments are dangerous and hostile – Not Benign like on Earth. Humanity will have to create new biospheres, learn how to grow food…. Learn how to obtain, process and use new resources. But in the final assessment, there is much more resource available in space, than there ever was on Earth’s surface (infinitely more). In Situ Resource Utilization On The Moon Learning to live and work on the Moon will be an Analogue to exploration elsewhere. (Closer than Mars and only slightly more hostile environment than Mars) The Moon is a Consistently Close and Relatively Available Resource, Mars and Near Earth Asteroids are neither. Developed Living and Processing Systems on the Moon will be directly applicable at other locations (Deimos, Phobos, Mars, the Asteroids). Also See Moon Miners Manifesto – Well studied and documented examples for Living and Working on the Moon. Lunar Regolith Typical What does the Moon have that we want ? Usable Mineral Resources A Lot of Solar Energy Some Water (at the Poles mostly) A CLOSE BY DEVELOPMENT OUTPOST Oxygen Silicon Iron Calcium Aluminum Magnesium Titanium Sodium Chromium Manganese Potasium Phosphorus O Si Fe Ca Al Mg Ti Na Cr Mn K P Composition % Sample 11Sample16 44.9 20.0 12.0 8.8 7.0 4.5 1.0 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 41.24 19 13.5 8.6 6 4.8 6 0.33 0.2 0.16 0.12 0.05 45 21 4 11.1 14.3 3.7 0.3 0.34 0.08 0.05 0.09 0.04 In Situ Resource Utilization On The Moon Oxygen makes up about 85 % of the mass of a rocket. And Oxygen is a Primary gas for life support. It would be advantageous to provide oxygen in cis-lunar space from the Moon rather than Earth. Using Lunar Regolith (lunar dust), we can obtain ilmenite (fairly common on the moon). We then process this ilmenite as follows to get Oxygen, Iron, and both Aluminum and Titanium Oxide. THE ARTEMIS PROJECT PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ON THE MOON http://www.asi.org/adb/04/03/10/04/oxygen-extraction.html Process Schematic Chemical Equation Other Processes can Extract Iron Magnetically, and Metalic Titanium from rutile (TiO2), Releasing even more Oxygen. There are processes to extract other minerals Silica > Silicon and Oxygen Aluminum and Magnesium Asteroid Mining Company http://www.planetaryresources.com/ In Situ Resource Utilization Mars On Mars, it would be nice to be able to manufacture and store methane as a rocket fuel. Using the (Paul) Sabatier Process we can do this using readily available Martian Resources. Atmospheric CO2 and Water. The Martian Atmosphere can be compressed, and Martian Water Catalyzed to provide Hydrogen and Oxygen Chemical Equation CO2 + 4H2 > CH4 + 2H2O The Process requires an Aluminum Oxide or Nickel Catalyst, and 300o C to 400o C. Combustion Equation CH4 + 2O2 > CO2 + 2H2O + Energy Must of the material processing and life systems developed on the Moon will be directly applicable to working and living on Mars. We can not stay there without life support. We will need to build the biosphere everywhere we go. In Situ Resource Utilization, ISRU Life Support Perhaps one of the most important technologies for us to go into space, is to learn how to live in space. Living in space is not just “Zero G”, or “Low G”, but it also includes the biological support system. If we do not get this right, it will limit us in space! It will be even more important in Space than it is on Earth, with worse consequences. We need to appreciate and understand our total dependency on the biosphere in which we life. We are 100% dependent on the web of lower orders of life, to sustain us. We can not live for long, nor travel far, without the biologic supply train in space. We will need a Controlled (Closed Loop) Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) if we are to survive and thrive in the space environment. These systems will need to be bigger and more Comprehensive than any hydroponics farming ever attempted up to now. The successes and failures of such systems has taught us much. But there is much more that needs to be done. Fortunately there is work going on and some encouraging results. Major tasks that need to be robust without failure are; Air Revitalization - See References on Biosphere 2, Hydroponics during WWII, and Current Work Wastewater Treatment and Recycling – See Vermont’s “Green” Welcome Center, “Living Machine” Food / Consumables Production - See References on Biosphere 2, Hydroponics during WWII, and Current Work, also Vertical Farming. We will need to build up a biosphere on both the Moon and Mars if we are to stay there for any amount of time. This will need to be done by building and sustaining well lit green houses on a large scale. Hydroponics farming on a scale never seen before. House plants and flowers will be a necessity not a nicety. It will be the lowly plants that keep us healthy, and absorb and process our waste.