Skip Navigation
Space Technology Research Grants

Lunar Volatiles Extraction Technology for Future Fusion Power and Multi-Outpost Scale Human Space Exploration

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Lunar Volatiles Extraction Technology for Future Fusion Power and Multi-Outpost Scale Human Space Exploration
The proposal is for the development of a prototype lunar volatiles extraction system the will demonstrate a process for acquiring helium-3 and volatile gases that can be used for life support. Helium-3 could be used in future fusion reactors that would produce no radioactive waste. The process of acquiring helium-3 produces far more life supporting volatile gases than helium-3, and incorporates many of the technologies that may be required in the future for supporting multiple in space outposts from lunar resources. The prototype system will be based on a past lunar volatiles miner design, developed at the University of Wisconsin Fusion Technology Institute, and will be a scaled down version that will investigate issues of system optimization for volatile production, component degradation due to continuous exposure to regolith simulant and thermal energy efficiency of the prototype's heat pipe heater system. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Project Library

Share this Project

Organizational Responsibility

Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

Target Destination

^