Space Applications Services Awarded Contract for lunar In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) Ground-Based Pilot Plant by ESA: An Invitation to the Introductory Workshop for Stakeholders
Space Applications Services (SpaceApps) has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA), and will lead an international consortium to design an ISRU Ground-Based Pilot Plant (GBPP).
This plant aims to produce oxygen and metal from Lunar regolith on Earth, a major step in the advancement of In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) technologies. The GBPP will be hosted at the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) in Luxembourg, strengthening the strategic partnership between ESA and ESRIC in the field of space resources. The plant will complement the existing ALCHEMIST-ED Hydrogen Reduction demonstrator, which was successfully delivered by Space Applications Services, and the ISRULAB FFC Cambridge process cells currently in development by SpaceApps.
About the Ground-Based Pilot Plant (GBPP)
The GBPP is a terrestrial analogue designed to test and validate technologies that will be used in future lunar missions. It will focus on molten salt electrolysis processes to efficiently extract oxygen and metals from Lunar regolith. The plant aims to demonstrate long-term system operational aspects at a relevant scale, including mass, power, overall efficiency, reliability, sustainability, operation and maintenance, and safety.
Objectives of the Activity
The primary objectives of this activity include:
- Developing a preliminary design, concept of operations, and costing for the GBPP.
- Acquiring long-term characterisation and understanding of the technologies currently foreseen in other projects, and their integration at the system level in the GBPP.
- Providing ESA with the detailed design of the Process Reactor Unit and breadboarding of critical technologies.
The GBPP is designed to serve as an open platform, allowing for the integration of future technologies and ideas. It aims to serve as a test bed for an international stakeholder community focused on advancing technologies and applications related to molten salt electrolysis processes.
Introductory Workshop for Stakeholders
In collaboration with ESRIC, Space Applications Services is inviting stakeholders to an Introductory Workshop. The workshop aims to engage actors from academia, research institutes, space and non-space companies to discuss and exchange ideas. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the current level of knowledge and needs of the international space resources community and explore ways this community could leverage the GBPP.
Date: Thursday 26 October 2023
Time: 16:00 – 17:30 CEST
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