This project will provide NASA with a testbed for demonstrating mining technologies involving the excavation of icy planetary regolith and the extraction of sublimated solid volatiles from icy regolith collected under environmental conditions similar to those found on asteroids, Mars, and the Moon.
NASA Kennedy Space Center is developing a testbed for producing large volume mixtures of ice and regolith under low pressure inside a laboratory vacuum chamber. This will allow those technologies that are being developed to excavate and utilize icy planetary regolith, to be tested and evaluated during actual operation under simulated surface conditions such as those found on asteroids, Mars, and the Moon.
The results of testing under relevant environmental conditions will be used to validate existing or future physical models that predict excavation forces related to mining planetary regolith, and to determine the amount of energy required to excavate the regolith and to sublimate solid volatiles contained in icy regolith.More »
Current and future NASA missions that include planned surface activities involving the interaction of robotic hardware with planetary regolith will benefit from the NASA KSC regolith testbed on earth, which will be able to provide regolith simulants that can be tested under similar environmental conditions in order to validate the actual responses or to anticipate how the hardware will interact with actual planetary regolith.
The commercial space mining industry will include regolith excavation activities involving the interaction of robotic hardware with planetary regolith that will benefit from the NASA KSC regolith testbed, which will be able to provide regolith simulants that can be tested under various environmental conditions in order to anticipate how the particular hardware will interact with planetary regolith.
Government agencies involved with civil engineering activities will benefit from the NASA KSC regolith testbed, which will be able to provide an environment in which soils can be tested under various environmental conditions in order to anticipate how particular excavation hardware will interact with the soil in specific locations on earth.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Kennedy Space Center (KSC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Kennedy Space Center, Florida|
|Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)||Supporting Organization||NASA Center||Pasadena, California|
|UCF Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science (CLASS)||Supporting Organization||Academia||Orlando, Florida|
|University of Central Florida (UCF)||Supporting Organization||Academia||Orlando, Florida|