Toward the utilisation of resources in space: knowledge gaps, open questions, and priorities


Cilliers J., Hadler K., Rasera J.


npj Microgravity, vol. 9, n° 1, art. no. 22, 2023


There are many open science questions in space resource utilisation due to the novelty and relative immaturity of the field. While many potential technologies have been proposed to produce usable resources in space, high confidence, large-scale design is limited by gaps in the knowledge of the local environmental conditions, geology, mineralogy, and regolith characteristics, as well as specific science questions intrinsic to each process. Further, the engineering constraints (e.g. energy, throughput, efficiency etc.) must be incorporated into the design. This work aims to summarise briefly recent activities in the field of space resource utilisation, as well as to identify key knowledge gaps, and to present open science questions. Finally, future exploration priorities to enable the use of space resources are highlighted.



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