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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Drilling and mining on the moon

•, brian wang

Project one is developing a sampling drill for volatile-rich lunar regolith as part of NASA's Lunar Resource Prospector.

There is 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.

Project two 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.

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