Resource Prospector: A lunar volatiles prospecting and ISRU demonstration mission

Monday, 15 December 2014: 8:36 AM
Anthony Colaprete1, Richard C Elphic1, Daniel R Andrews1, Jay Trimble1, Jerry Sanders2 and Jackie Quinn3, (1)NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States, (2)NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States, (3)NASA Kennedy Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, FL, United States
A variety of recent observations have indicated several possible reservoirs of water and other volatiles. These volatiles, and in particular water, have the potential to be a valuable or enabling resource for future exploration. NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) is supporting the development of Resource Prospector (RP) to explore the distribution and concentration of lunar volatiles prospecting and to demonstrate In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). The mission includes the RESOLVE (Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction) payload, a NASA developed rover, and a lander will most likely be a contributed element by an international partner or the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative. The RESOLVE payload is designed to: (1) locate near-subsurface volatiles, (2) excavate and analyze samples of the volatile-bearing regolith, and (3) demonstrate the form, extractability and usefulness of the materials. RP is being designed with thought given to its extensibility to resource prospecting and ISRU on other airless bodies and Mars.

This presentation will describe the Resource Prospector mission, the payload and measurements, and concept of operations.