Caltech Space Challenge
Lunar Prospecting and Mining
This presentation will detail two projects currently under development at Honeybee Robotics for near term lunar ISRU-focused missions. The first project involves development of a sampling drill for volatile-rich lunar regolith as part of NASA's Lunar Resource Prospector. The talk will describe the technology development required to reach TRL 6, as well as the range of tests the system was subjected to. These tests include drilling in volatile-rich lunar analog soil and sample delivery inside a lunar chamber. The second project involves volatile extraction technology for large-scale mining operations. In a more conventional approach, feedstock is mined and transported to a processing plant. Here, an alternative design will be presented that combines the mining and extraction steps into one and eliminates the transport step. I will present several approaches, vacuum chamber test data, and lessons learned.
For more information visit: http://www.spacechallenge.caltech.edu/public-lectures