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Questions tagged [isru]

In situ resource utilization aims to exploit materials found in the lithosphere and atmosphere of planetary bodies for life support, propulsion, and other functions of interplanetary missions.

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Surface Resource Distribution Across the Orbits of the Saturnian Moons

I've posted questions before related to ISRU and/or resource harvesting in the Saturn system, given how low the velocity change is for inter-moon transfer. What resources are available to turn into ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
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What resources are available to turn into storable hypergolic on the Jovian moons

I was thinking about whether a mission utilizing ISRU on a lander to refuel a transfer craft. However, I don't know how to figure out what materials are available in large quantity ON THE EQUATORIAL ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
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2 answers
118 views

What will be the most cost-effective way to remove and collect the subsurface ice on Mars?

From NASA's Treasure Map for Water Ice on Mars: "You wouldn't need a backhoe to dig up this ice. You could use a shovel," said the paper's lead author, Sylvain Piqueux from NASA's Jet ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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What will be more important for the first NASA led human mission to Mars, the exploration of important science targets or the mining of water ice?

A few months after NASA's decision in November 2018 that Jezero Crater would be the landing site for the Mars 2020 rover mission, the research article The Geology and Astrobiology of McLaughlin Crater,...
Cornelis's user avatar
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Could it be more cost-effective to refuel with on the lunar south pole produced methalox instead of refueling methalox in LEO, on the way to Mars?

In the article Prominent volcanic source of volatiles in the south polar region of the Moon it is calculated that 8 x 109 kg $CO_2$ has been vented billions of years ago by pyroclastic events in the ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
270 views

How could space-manufactured goods be transported to earth surface?

In the near-to-mid future when ISRU and manufacturing in space is large enough to have an export industry back to Earth, there may be not only a significant volume of raw materials heading back to ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
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29 votes
2 answers
5k views

Ultimate fate of rocket propellant in space?

For many trajectories using engines with moderate ISP such as chemical or nuclear-thermal rockets, the exhaust velocity vector of various space operations is such that the rocket exhaust will end up ...
ikrase's user avatar
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4 votes
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551 views

How can you get nitrogen and carbon enough to make air (after adding oxygen and reacting the carbon with oxygen to form carbon dioxide) on the moon?

I'm working on a moon base for a project and I need to make air. I know that you can get oxygen and hydrogen by electrolysing water which is present in abundance on the moon. I need to mix nitrogen, ...
Robo's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Would a sufficiently deep cavern on Mars provide habitable temperature and atmospheric pressure? Was Dick Tracy wrong?

Would a sufficiently deep cavern on Mars provide habitable temperature and atmospheric pressure? Dick Tracy discovered minimally dressed Moon People living comfortably outdoors on the Moon. Their Far ...
Woody's user avatar
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How much equipment will be required to mine 600 tons of water ice on Mars?

Assuming that Starship needs to fully refuel on the Martian surface to return to Earth, that will require about 260 tons of methane->66 tons of hydrogen->600 tons of water, which you would need ...
Barry Jenakuns's user avatar
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1 answer
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How does SpaceX plan to supply or recycle respiratory gasses?

If Starship carries 100 passengers to Mars, they will consume about 6 metric tons of oxygen and produce about 10 tons of CO2 on each leg of the trip. Much more if they exercise. CO2 could be converted ...
Woody's user avatar
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4 votes
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170 views

Would it be advantageous to uncover the subsurface ice in the only two regions on Mars where water can flow downhill in summertime?

The image above is a screenshot from a part of NASA's Treasure Map for Water Ice on Mars. Within 'the only two regions' I mean the uppermost parts of the two coloured extensions to the north into the ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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2 votes
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How much mass do we need to send to the Moon to set up a useful factory there? [closed]

In light of SpaceX's recently winning the contract to go to the moon for NASA, I started thinking (again) about what avenues sending a rocket that size might open in our near-future. So let's assume ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
241 views

How much electrical energy is required to dissipate heat?

I'm modeling the electrical energy consumption of a chemical reactor for the Moon base. The reaction taking place in this reactor is highly exothermic, and the device must be cooled. My question is ...
dlight's user avatar
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4 answers
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Has trebuchet-based materials transport on the Moon been researched before?

I am participating in a design competition based on lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). A key component of this design is transporting regolith-mined water from a water extractor in a ...
CourageousPotato's user avatar
4 votes
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216 views

Together with an ISRU investigation, the scientific value of a local Martian weather experiment by uncovering the near surface ice in Nier crater?

From NASA's Treasure Map for Water Ice on Mars: "You wouldn't need a backhoe to dig up this ice. You could use a shovel," said the paper's lead author, Sylvain Piqueux of NASA's Jet ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
154 views

Viability of beamed regolith propulsion?

This question is inspired by two existing spacecraft propulsion concepts. Beam-powered propulsion involves a spacecraft being propelled by a beam of some kind, and one potential type of beam would ...
Pitto's user avatar
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3 votes
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99 views

Is there a specific reason why NASA put MOXIE on a rover?

MOXIE or The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment is to be sent to Mars as a part of Perseverance's scientific payload. Sure the experiment is much needed and very anticipated, and ...
SF.'s user avatar
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Compact ISRU for manufactured goods?

Most studies of ISRU focus on propellants, life support supplies, concrete, or other "bulk" materials (liquids, gases, granules). This makes sense, given that the majority of a typical ...
ikrase's user avatar
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8 votes
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Sabatier reaction oxygen to methane ratio for Mars ascent propellant

The Sabatier reaction is as follows: $$\mathrm{CO_2 + 4\: H_2 \rightarrow CH_4 + 2\: H_2O}.$$ If water is electrolysed $$\mathrm{2\:H_2O \rightarrow 2\: H_2 + O_2}$$ the global reaction becomes $$...
Jak's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Mars Crewed Missions: Use of In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) for the Return Trip Propellant

From what I've read from NASA's Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 and other articles, the use of ISRU for the ascent vehicle propellant is usually considered (be it atmospheric based, ...
Jak's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
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Can a rocket refuel on Mars from water?

Can a rocket run only on hydrogen and oxygen? Could a rocket, rover, and electrolysis machine be sent to either of Mars' poles to excavate ice to make hydrogen and oxygen to refuel an unmanned rocket? ...
Muze's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
882 views

Most attractive resource on the Moon

What is the most attractive resource available to be extracted on the Moon? By the most attractive I mean the most useful considering the location in which it's extracted and including all the ...
Rexcirus's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
253 views

Low energy cements for Mars and Callisto. Waterless cement for the Moon. Any good candidates?

In the non-polar regions of the Moon and Mercury there is a shortage of volatiles, including hydrogen and nitrogen, so they might be regaded as too valuable to be "wasted" to prepare concrete. ...
we'll see's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
623 views

How to size Solar Array for Mars Surface

Good morning everyone, I am working on a project for my university where we need to perform a PrePhase A study for a Mars Infrastructure for Propellant production as a means of support for future ...
Roger Pedrós Bòria's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
110 views

Have there been any significant improvements to methods of transporting hydrogen to the surface of Mars in the last 10 years?

I have just been reading “Human missions to Mars: enabling technologies for the red planet” by Donald Rapp (Praxis publishing 2008). According to this book one major challenge facing a future manned ...
Slarty's user avatar
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7 votes
6 answers
1k views

What's the scientific evidence of water for return trip methalox on Mars?

EDIT: I am not asking if you think finding water is necessary for a return flight. I'm asking for the scientific evidence that there is mineable water on Mars that could be used for this purpose. ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
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Mining lunar thorium for building nuclear rockets on the Moon

Has there been any research on what lunar in-situ processes would have to be developed to mine and process thorium to build nuclear thermal rockets on the Moon?
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What happens to Lunar (or asteroidal) regolith if sunlight is concentrated on it?

At 24:40 into this lecture, technology development scientist Laurent Sibille briefly describes an experiment done with a regolith simulant for Lunar Mare. The process of producing oxygen and reusing ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

How much fuel is being consumed by all spacecrafts in orbit?

It is possible to supply spacecrafts in orbit in cis-Lunar space with oxygen from fuel production facilities on the Moon or on asteroids. What is the size of this potential in-space oxygen market ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

How thick would a Marscrete structure need to be to provide adequate protection against radiation?

Regarding a manned shelter on the surface of Mars... With all of this esoteric talk of ice shelters, why not simply create concrete (Marscrete) buildings? The ice probably provides better radiation ...
Chris B. Behrens's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
269 views

Is unpurified Martian ice/water safe for irrigation?

There are large amounts of ice underground on Mars. Some are closer to the surface then others. Assuming this ice has been mined and is not safe for human consumption without purification, is it ...
MarsOneOrBust's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
113 views

Practical ice deposits on Mars?

Per JPL, Recent observations have discovered a resevoir of ice beneath the surface of mars. How practical, from an ISRU perspective, is this discovery? Frozen beneath a region of cracked and ...
MarsOneOrBust's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Making propellants on Mars: Why not just LH2/LOX instead of methane?

In this cool video of a presentation about SpaceX's GPU-based computational fluid dynamics, there is a slide early on about making rocket fuel on Mars - specifically using water from the ground and ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
503 views

Back to oribt from Mars - how many km^2 yr of solar power to make enough propellant?

In this cool video of a presentation about SpaceX's GPU-based computational fluid dynamics, there is a slide early on about making rocket fuel on Mars - specifically using water from the ground and ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
509 views

How much land does a colony on Mars need to start off?

Assume that we need just the following Martian resources for our colony: O2 N2 H2O Regolith for radiation shielding Regolith for construction Regolith for printing tools Martian compounds for rocket ...
called2voyage's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
391 views

What specific impulse can I expect from iron powder produced from lunar regolith?

Getting rocket propellant from other sources than Earth is by many viewed as an important step towards further exploration of space. One such source could be our closest neighbour, the Moon. The ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
200 views

Are there proper ore bodies in Mars' crust?

It is my understanding that asteroids vaporize on impact and spread evenly over some area. An iron rich asteroid does not deposit an iron ore and there are no real ore bodies on the Moon. But had they ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
951 views

Is Mars iron too oxidized to pick up with a magnet?

How much iron would a magnet pick up on the surface of Mars? Would it be rich in iron particles like going to a playground on earth? Would it be clean enough to take to a refinery and melt down, or ...
Fred Davis Futurist's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
347 views

Mining construction materials and other resources on Mars

The year is 2036 and humanity has established a colony on Mars. There's hundreds of people there, more coming every two years, and now it's time to make the colony self-sustaining. Now the question ...
radex's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to produce oxygen out of Venusian atmosphere's carbon dioxide?

What are the possible methods of in-situ extraction of oxygen from the atmosphere of Venus, which is mostly carbon dioxide?
Keyla's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
935 views

Which heavenly bodies have stuff to make rocket fuel?

Which planets or large moons of our solar system are currently known to have the raw materials needed for us to produce rocket fuel? Mars, for example, has plentiful CO₂, and we know how to produce ...
Joe's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Collecting antimatter from Van Allen radiation belts

I just read an article by John P. Millis, Ph.D which says that antimatter is created in the Van Allen radiation belts. I am writing a novel where a future starship with FTL capability, powered by a ...
Mike Tyler's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
286 views

What is the minimum amount of equipment you would need to make a reasonable amount of oxygen on the Moon with Molten Oxide Electrolysis?

MIT Professor Sadoway believes we can make oxygen anywhere on the moon with Molten Oxide Electrolysis (see here and here). Let's assume that you need to make enough oxygen to sustain an astronaut for ...
called2voyage's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
373 views

Is the hybrid sulfur cycle a good way of making hydrogen and oxygen on Venus?

Assuming we collect sulfuric acid from Venus clouds using some sort of airship, what would be the best way of turning this into hydrogen and oxygen? I came across something called the hybrid sulfur ...
Erik Engheim's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
8k views

How much iron is on the surface of Mars?

It's (relatively) common knowledge that Mars is known as the "Red Planet" because of an abundance of iron oxide, AKA rust, on its surface. At first glance, that looks like "iron, iron, everywhere." ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
162 views

Is production of methane possible on Mars?

${CO_2}$ is plentiful in Martian atmosphere. $H_2$ can be produced on Mars using sunlight and can be reacted with $CO_2$ to form $H_2O+C$, or $CH_4+H_2O$. Is it a feasible chemical reaction?
veerabadhran s's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
206 views

Are NMAs (Near Mars Asteroids) common and useful for exploration?

Thousands of NEAs have been observed out of estimated 285,000 larger than 40 meters. A handful of Martian trojans have been found, but should there be more or fewer NMAs than NEAs? NEAs can become ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
484 views

Should we use Mars as the main source of interplanetary fuel? [closed]

Robert Zubrin makes a compelling case for using Mars as a site to make methane fuel for the return trip back to Earth. However, maybe there is an additional refinement to this model; In addition to ...
Joe Prosser's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
8k views

What useful materials can be extracted from Venusian atmosphere?

Consider a cloud-top colony on Venus. What materials needed for the upkeep and expanding of the colony can be taken from Venusian atmosphere, excluding any possibility of mining the surface?
Anixx's user avatar
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