Ice Confirmed At The Moon’s Poles

In the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions, a team of scientists has directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon’s surface. These ice deposits are patchily distributed and could possibly be ancient. At the southern pole, most of the ice is concentrated at lunar craters, while the northern pole’s ice …Read More

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Moon To Mars And Prospecting Challenge Announced

Extended crewed missions to the Moon or Mars begin with finding a water supply. To access that water, NASA will require new technologies to mine through various layers of lunar or Martian soil and into ice deposits buried beneath. NASA is working with the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Virginia to sponsor the …Read More

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Resource Prospector 2015 Field Testing Complete

Resource Prospector (RP) is an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) capability demonstration mission currently planned to launch in 2020. Expanding human presence beyond low-Earth orbit to asteroids and Mars will require the maximum possible utilization of local materials — so-called in-situ resources. RP aims to be the first mission to validate prospecting, extraction, and analysis of …Read More

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Harnessing Power From The Moon

Can our moon help fuel an energy-hungry Earth? Work is in progress to build equipment that can demonstrate the extraction of helium-3 (3He)–helium with two protons and one neutron–and other volatiles from the moon’s resource-rich soil known as regolith. Volatiles are chemical elements and chemical compounds with low boiling points; the moon is a treasure-trove …Read More

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Extreme Access Flyer To Take Planetary Exploration Airborne

Swamp Works engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are inventing a flying robotic vehicle that can gather samples on other worlds in places inaccessible to rovers. The vehicles – similar to quad-copters but designed for the thin atmosphere of Mars and the airless voids of asteroids and the moon – would use a …Read More

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