NASA’s in-situ materials challenge: team ISU final report

Dahlstrom, Eric, Pons Lorente, Arnau, Musilova, Michaela, Entrena Utrilla, Carlos, Soni, Anushree, Gásquez García, Oriol, Aliaj, Bora, Sisaid, Idriss, Hussein, Alaa, Naor, Roy and Stratton, Parker (2015) NASA’s in-situ materials challenge: team ISU final report. Technical Report. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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Transforming in situ materials such as regolith or basalt into useful structural elements is a significant way to reduce the mass of materials launched as payload from Earth. Considering exploration on Mars, for every kilogram of native materials used, one saves 11 kg of transportation propellant and spacecraft mass required to launch to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Given the cost for LEO is US$10,000/kg, one avoids at least US$110,000/kg of cost by using 1 kg of in situ materials, making space pioneering on Mars more affordable and feasible.

One could use surface-based materials such as regolith or basalt to produce structural elements that can be interconnected to create launch/landing pads; blast protection berms; roads and walkways; radiation, thermal, and micro-meteorite shielding insulation and structures; equipment shelters; pressure vessels for fluids storage; ablative atmospheric entry heat shields; construction foundations; and other useful structures.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Technical Report)
Keywords: NASA’s In-Situ Materials Challenge, Team ISU, Utilizing in situ Materials, Using Regolith Simulant, Technical Maturity, Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), 3D Laser Printer, Robotic Arms for Block Assembly
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Engineering and Design
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G3180 Maps > G3181 Universe. Solar system
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and communications > HE9719 Artificial satellite telecommunications
Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB0495 Descriptive astronomy > QB0500.5 Solar system
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA0168 Systems engineering
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ0212 Control engineering systems. Automatic machinery (General)
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Depositing User: Alaa Hussein
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2015 13:53
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2015 13:53

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