Matthias Maurer Tests Concrete on the International Space Station

Matthias Maurer conducting the MASON concrete experiment. (Credit: ESA/NASA)
  • Matthias Maurer researches the hardening of concrete in zero gravity.
  • Climate protection through more efficient use of raw materials.
  • Experiments in space provide data for technical developments on earth.
  • Cooperation DLR with the universities of Cologne and Duisburg-Essen.
  • The experiment is part of the Cosmic Kiss mission.

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — How does freshly poured concrete behave in zero gravity? And how can this contribute to environmental protection on Earth? In early February 2022, the German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer searched for answers to these questions on the  International Space Station experiment “MASON/Concrete Hardening” is a joint project of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the University of Cologne and the University Duisburg-Essenand takes place as part of the Cosmic Kiss mission.

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New Composite Material Could Make Manufacturing on the Moon and Mars More Efficient

Above: An experimental composite material for the Moon/Mars cures inside an acrylic vacuum chamber. (Credit: PISCES)

HILO, Hawai’i (PISCES PR) — NASA has plans to put humans back on the Moon as early as 2025 and ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) will be a crucial technology for establishing the infrastructure needed to sustain humans in the harsh lunar environment. Using raw, native materials, ISRU can provide vital resources like breathable air, tools or building blocks for shelters.

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Lunar Resources to Mine Metals on the Moon

Photo of Mare Crisium taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (Lunar Resources PR) – Recent awards from NASA and the National Science Foundation have created a path forward for Houston-based Lunar Resources, Inc., to perform mining of oxygen and metals on the Moon as early as 2024.

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What We Learned from the Space Station this Past Year

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — As the International Space Station enters its third decade of continuous human presence, the impact of microgravity research conducted there keeps growing. The months between Nov. 2020 and Nov. 2021 saw publication of more than 400 scientific papers based on studies aboard the orbiting lab.

Here are some highlights of recent results from groundbreaking space station science:

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NASA’s 2021 Achievements Included Mars Landing, First Flight, Artemis, More

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2021, NASA completed its busiest year of development yet in low-Earth orbit, made history on Mars, continued to make progress on its Artemis plans for the Moon, tested new technologies for a supersonic aircraft, finalized launch preparations for the next-generation space telescope, and much more – all while safely operating during a pandemic and welcoming new leadership under the Biden-Harris Administration.

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NASA Selects Nine Space Technologies for Commercial Suborbital Flight Tests

Carthage College student Nicolas Welker prepares to start a zero-gravity transfer of propellant simulant during a flight on Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE on Nov. 16, 2021. The flight enabled testing of technology designed to gauge propellant levels during on-orbit refueling and transfer operations. (Credits: Zero Gravity Corporation/Steve Boxall)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected nine space technologies under the agency’s 2021 TechFlights solicitation for testing aboard parabolic aircraft, high-altitude balloons, and suborbital rocket-powered systems.

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Tiny Crystal Could Power Lunar Settlement

Iron pyrite crystal (Credit: TalTech)

TALLINN, Estonia (ESA PR) — This crystal of iron pyrite, just four hundredths of a millimetre in size, could function as the light absorbing layer of a tiny solar cell – potentially a promising future source of power on the Moon.

Working with Estonia’s Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), ESA has studied the production of sandpaper-like rolls of such microcrystals as the basis of monograin-layer solar cells.

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NASA, Intuitive Machines Announce Landing Site Location for Lunar Drill

Nova-C lander on the lunar surface. (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

By Hillary Smith
NASA’s Langley Research Center

HAMPTON, Va. — In late 2022, NASA will send an ice-mining experiment attached to a robotic lander to the lunar South Pole on a ridge not far from Shackleton crater – a location engineers and scientists have assessed for months. NASA and Intuitive Machines, an agency partner for commercial Moon deliveries, announced the location selection Nov. 3.

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Airbus, Air Liquide and ispace Europe Launch EURO2MOON, a Non-profit Platform to Explore Future Uses of Lunar Resources

The European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) announces its intention to join this organization as the first non-founding member

DUBAI, UAE, 26 October 2021 (ispace PR) – In the context of increased momentum around space exploration, Airbus Defense & Space, Air Liquide and ispace Europe have announced the joint creation of EURO2MOON.

Bringing in complementary expertise from public and private partners, EURO2MOON will focus on topics related to the exploration of the lunar surface and the utilization of its resources in a commercial and sustainable way.

The objective is to create a platform of exchange in order to build a common vision and promote it among the European industrial and institutional ecosystems, including recommendations on global roadmaps, demonstration concepts and commercial programs. Topics to be addressed will include long duration transport, life support, energy needs for scientific and commercial applications.

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Airbus Defence and Space, Mexican Space Agency and Mexican Start-up Dereum Labs to Collaborate on Lunar Resources Extraction Technologies

The ROXY system will extract oxygen and metals from lunar regolith. (Credit: Airbus)

Mexican Space Agency support will help create a new In-Situ Resources Utilisation Programme

Mexico, 24 September 2021– Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and the Mexican start-up Dereum Labs to collaborate on the technologies needed for lunar resources extraction. This will lead to the creation of a new Mexican In-Situ Resources Utilisation (ISRU) Programme for lunar extraction and help develop the necessary industrial ecosystem for this technology in-country.

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University of Cincinnati Reactor Makes Martian Fuel

UC chemical engineering assistant professor Jingjie Wu, left and doctoral student Tianyu Zhang are experimenting with different catalysts to convert carbon dioxide to storable fuel to address climate change. (Credit: Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand)

by Michael Miller
University of Cincinnati

Engineers at the University of Cincinnati are developing new ways to convert greenhouse gases to fuel to address climate change and get astronauts home from Mars.

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science assistant professor Jingjie Wu and his students used a carbon catalyst in a reactor to convert carbon dioxide into methane. Known as the “Sabatier reaction” from the late French chemist Paul Sabatier, it’s a process the International Space Station uses to scrub the carbon dioxide from air the astronauts breathe and generate rocket fuel to keep the station in high orbit.

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EPSC 2021: Life Support Cooked up From Lunar Rocks

Artist impression of a Moon Base concept. (Credit: ESA – P. Carril)

STRASBOURG, France (Europlanet Society PR) — Engineers have successfully shown how water and oxygen can be extracted by cooking up lunar soil, in order to support future Moon bases. A laboratory demonstrator, developed by a consortium of the Politecnico Milano, the European Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency and the OHB Group, is presented this week at the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2021.

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ispace to Collaborate on Lunar Resources Extraction Rover with Haptic Robotic Arm and Mixed Reality (XR) Functions

Memorandum of Understanding signed with Canadian company Stardust and Australia’s University of Technology Sydney and EXPLOR Space Technologies

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace), ispace Europe SA (ispace Europe), Stardust Technologies Inc. (Stardust), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and EXPLOR Space Technologies (EXPLOR) collectively signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a mining rover with a multipurpose robotics arm utilizing virtual reality, haptic feedback in the framework of in situ resource utilization (ISRU) activities on the Moon.

Under the proposed collaboration, the parties involved plan to engage in the form of one or more of the following:

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Redwire Developing Key Technologies to Build Sustainable Lunar Infrastructure

Redwire’s Additive Manufacturing Device, which will be used to run the regolith simulant prints for the Redwire Regolith Print mission. (Credit: Redwire)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NASA PR) — The farther humans go into deep space, the more important it will be to generate products with local materials. Reducing Earth delivery requirements reduces overall mission cost and launch weight.  It also allows for the construction of infrastructure using space-based resources, a practice called in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). NASA is making long term investments to advance ISRU technology across multiple areas, including regolith-based in-space manufacturing and construction.

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Israel’s Helios Signs Agreement with iSpace to Produce Oxygen on the Moon

Helios’ oxygen production solution, supported by the Israel Space Agency, could reduce the number of launches from Earth and allow for a long-term human presence in deep space. (Credit: Helios)

TEL AVIV (Israel Space Agency PR) — The Israeli company Helios, which develops technology for extracting oxygen from the lunar soil, signed the first Israeli-Japanese agreement for technological cooperation on July 19. Helios, with the support of the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, will be integrated into the mission to the moon of the Japanese company ispace. As part of the mission, the Israeli company will conduct a demonstration of technology for extracting oxygen and metal from the lunar regolith.

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