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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Mars Simulant Development for ISRU Applications

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Unlike other Mars simulant developments that are used for robotic mechanical systems testing this JSC funded FY16 project will be directed at developing techniques that are required for evaluating In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) applications. These include water extraction, perchlorate remediation strategies as well as the impact of remediation on other potential ISRU goals.  The project will also investigate the feasibility of using perchlorate directly for ISRU. ISRU water and oxygen extraction are specifically called out in the Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT) and TABS.

This IR&D project will develop a Mars simulant with perchlorates for ISRU applications.  Current design reference missions for the EMC call for the use of in-situ resources during the Proving Ground Phase of human missions to the surface.  One potential resource is water extracted from the martian regolith.  There is a critical need to develop Mars simulants that can be tested in ISRU applications that mimic the chemical, mineralogical, and physical properties of the Martian regolith.  However, one simulant does not meet all applications.

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Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

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