NASA Funds R&D Projects to Produce Fuel and Process Oxygen on the Moon and Mars

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected two research and development (R&D) projects focused on producing technologies that future astronauts will need to produce fuel and oxygen on the moon and Mars.

Air Company Holdings of Brooklyn, NY, and New York University will share a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award worth up to $150,000 to develop a system to produce kerosene-based fuels on Earth and Mars. Innosense of Torrance, Calif., and the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottsville will receive a STTR award to develop a hydrogen sensor to be used in the processing of oxygen from lunar regolith.


Tech Designed by University Students Could Shine Light on Extreme Lunar Environments

Michigan Technological University’s Tethered-permanently shadowed Region Explorer would extract and use the water ice located in and around the lunar polar regions through the use of super conducting cables to deliver large quantities of power to these extremely hard to access regions. (Credits: Michigan Technological University)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — “The dark side of the Moon” is sometimes used to describe mysterious things. Though the far side of the Moon isn’t actually dark, there are some areas on the Moon that haven’t seen the Sun in billions of years. Those are the unexplored areas university students aimed to help NASA reach.


Study: Europa Could Be a Very Tricky Place to Land

The green oval highlights the plumes Hubble observed on Europa. The area also corresponds to a warm region on Europa’s surface. The map is based on observations by the Galileo spacecraft (Credits: NASA/ESA/STScI/USGS)

CARDIFF, UK (Cardiff University PR) — A location often earmarked as a potential habitat for extra-terrestrial life could prove to be a tricky place for spacecraft to land, new research has revealed.

A team led by scientists from Cardiff University has predicted that fields of sharp ice growing to almost 15 metres [49 feet] tall could be scattered across the equatorial regions of Jupiter’s moon, Europa.


UVA Center to Lead the Way in Developing Hypersonic Transports


A new center to develop the analytical tools needed to design the engines for a future hypersonic aircraft – one that could fly up to 12 times the speed of sound – is being established at the University of Virginia under a new $10 million grant from NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

As currently envisioned, the new aircraft would take off from a runway like an airplane, accelerate to Mach 12, soar to a maximum altitude of 100,000 feet, travel extreme distances and return to land on a runway. It would be operated remotely or, eventually, by on-board pilots.


Virginia Universities, Aerojet Work on Advanced Scramjet

Gift enables research on supersonic engine
Collegiate Times

Aeronautic research conducted by a Virginia Tech and University of Virginia team hopes to lead to a more dependable, efficient and faster operation of aircraft with the help of a recent $50,000 gift from Tech alumni through the Aerojet Corporation.