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In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)

The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) is a core component of the Vision for Space Exploration as implemented by the Science & Mission Systems (S&MS) Office. The ISRU works to establish, evaluate and assess the in situ resources available on the moon and Mars and the technologies needed to utilize and exploit these resources. These research and technology development areas will focus on technologies necessary to extract consumables (O2, H2O, N2, He, etc.) for human life-support system replenishment (ECLSS, EVA, etc.), source materials (feedstock) for In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) technologies, and source materials (composites, etc.) for radiation shielding and shelters from in situ resources (lunar regolith and Martian regolith & atmosphere). The transformation of in situ space resources into raw materials will be studied through fundamental and applied experimental research, theoretical modeling of processes, and technology development in the areas of extractive and reactive processing, materials purification, material transformation, materials shaping and handling, and characterization of these processes in low-gravity environments.