the project teams
P03 – LUIEE
Lunar Ice Extraction and Electrolysis
“Discovery of water on moon in the past has opened the realm of possibilities for a prospective “Moon Village” today and IGLUNA is a perfect launchpad to catapult our project to lead the way for deep-space missions in the future.”
As human space exploration advances to deep-space missions, there is very little access to life-sustaining supplies that are readily available on Earth, thereby increasing the dependency of the human colonists on the available in-situ resources. The Moon may actually be a treasure trove of rare resources that could be vital for supporting life beyond Earth. Evidence of water on Moon opens up the potential for a long-term human presence. This water ice is scattered as tiny grains mixed with lunar soil across the permanently shadowed craters near the poles, with temperatures of 40 K (-233.15 °C) making it inaccessible. One of the methods to tackle this challenge could be “Thermal Mining”, that LUIEE intends to demonstrate.
LUnar Ice Extraction & Electrolysis (LUIEE) focuses on designing, developing, and demonstrating new key technologies of a remotely controlled rover for the exploration, extraction and processing of the lunar water ice for beneficiation. This resource can be decomposed to produce supplies such as oxygen and hydrogen for creating a sustainable source of fuel for “deep-space missions”. It could significantly reduce the cost and time associated with the refuelling of rockets from Earth, thereby fulfilling the large propellant requirement of spacecraft. Also, the extracted water can be utilized as potable water for the future “Moon Village”.
The IGLUNA 2021 Field Campaign is a perfect test bed for rover demonstration, as the extreme environment of Mt. Pilatus (Switzerland) provides a convenient platform to test LUIEE’s operations.