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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

In Situ Manufacturing of Plastics and Composites to Support H&R Exploration, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

In Situ Manufacturing of Plastics and Composites to Support H&R Exploration, Phase I
Our proposed Phase I program will develop a reactor system for the synthesis of polyethylene from carbon dioxide and water. The proposed work will result in hardware capable of the in-situ fabrication of high-density polyethylene suitable for the construction of inflatable enclosures and panels, which can be used to construct extraterrestrial habitats. In-situ production of habitat structural materials would result in substantial cost savings compared with transporting the material from Earth. The system will serve as an engineering prototype for for future missions to demonstrate in-situ production of consumables. We expect that the technology to produce ethylene and polyethylene will be sufficiently mature to be considered for demonstration in the 2005 or 2007 programs. Our proposed program addresses two fundamental technology issues: (1) In Situ Synthesis of Hydrocarbon Fuels and Oxygen (2) In Situ Synthesis of Materials for Isolated Habitat Construction and Support. It addresses several key crosscut issues based on the use of In Situ Resources, e.g., - Life Support for Spacecraft Including Space Station Freedom - Life Support for Lunar and Martian Bases and Colonies - Propellants for Propulsion for Planetary Rovers and Return Vehicles. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.