Extracting Water from the Moon
The moon is garnering new interest lately. NASA's Artemis Mission will establish a long-term presence on the moon to continue scientific discovery and technology innovation. As such, they plan to implement sustainable infrastructure using in-situ resources.
Understanding the critical importance of water, NASA's astronauts will collect and remove large amounts of water and icy regolith, a loose rocky soil layer, from an area near the moon's south pole. To find the best way to accomplish this, NASA opened the Break the Ice Lunar Challenge in November 2020.
On August 18, 2021 NASA awarded $500,000 in prizes to the winners of Phase 1. In this phase, teams designed a system to collect and move large amounts of the icy regolith and water. Proudly, the first place finisher was Redwire Space, headquartered here in Jacksonville, Florida. Phase 2 will include demonstration and hardware development.
|Photo by Donna Kaluzniak|
Harvesting resources from the moon is something other countries may have in mind as well, as China, Russia, Israel, India and Japan are in the game.