NASA seeks toÂ mine resourcesÂ on the moon and MarsÂ in supportÂ of the space agency’s wider exploration goals. The agency said WednesdayÂ that it will deploy two robotic projects to support resource mining studies under Phase III of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program. Teams fromÂ Carnegie Mellon University andÂ TransAstra will each receive $2 millionÂ for respective two-year projects.
âWe are pursuing new technologies across our development portfolio that could help make deep space exploration more Earth-independent by utilizing resources on the Moon and beyond,â said Jim Reuter, associate administrator at NASAâs Space Technology Mission Directorate.Â
Carnegie Mellon University will pursue theÂ Skylight mission to generate imagery-based 3D models of craters to determine viability for human on robotic missions. TransAstra will deploy itsÂ Mini Bee robot to demonstrateÂ optical mining, an excavation method that stores substances inÂ anÂ inflatable bag. The company will apply this method to gatherÂ propellant in space.