NASA applications would satisfy goals of HEOMD and SMD. In particular, the Planetary Volatiles Extractor could be initially used as a reconnaissance tool to map and characterize volatiles distribution around the area before deploying ISRU plants. Depending on the required water (or other volatiles) production levels per day, the PVEx could be used to extract water and other volatiles to support human habitats,for LOX/LH2 propulsion systems to enable return of humans or samples back to Earth or for a journey to the outer reaches of Space. Because of the system's flexibility, the PVEx could be deployed on any extraterrestrial body that contains volatiles or hydrated minerals: Mars, the Moon, Europa, Enceladus, Asteroids, Comets, Phobos and Deimos. If the system were to be deployed on the Moon or NEOs, the water produced by the system could be returned to the ISS. NASA's near term goal is to send humans to Mars. As such, PVEx could not only be used as a reconnaissance system, but also as a production plant to mine and process water and other volatiles. These would need to be mined and stored before human arrival to the surface.
The PVEx system could be used by several commercial companies that are interested in In Situ Resource Utilization for financial gain. These include Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries targeting Asteroids and Shackleton Energy Corp, targeting the Moon (see letter of interest from Shackleton Energy section 13). The ultimate goal of SpaceX is to establish human presence on Mars. As such, SpaceX would also benefit from mature volatile extraction technology. Brining water from the Moon or NEOs could be very profitable given that launching water from Space costs ~$20,000/liter. The major market for water could be human consumption (e.g. once Bigelow Space Hotels are established) or refueling of existing satellites. The latter is of particular interest, since satellites come to the end of their life not because of electronics, or power, but because there are running out of fuel for station keeping. NASA and industry have been developing in space refueling technology, the first step in enabling refueling of satellites. Other non-NASA applications include robotic acquisition of volatiles as well as soil and liquid samples from hazardous environments: chemical spills, nuclear waste, oil spills.