SwRI’s BORE Microgravity Payload Flies Aboard Commercial Suborbital Spaceflight

A Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) experiment designed to assess the surface properties and processes of near-Earth asteroids successfully flew aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle April 2. The Box of Rocks Experiment (BORE) consists of two transparent boxes enclosing two types of rocks that simulate an asteroid’s regolith — the layer of loose, heterogeneous …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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