“To evaluate the economic feasibility of lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Technologies
for hydrogen, oxygen, and ...
For Energy costs, it is assumed that for all needs more than 10kW, nuclear power will
be used and for all under 10kW, sola...
Validating the model
• ISRU costing and comparison for
different processes is uncharted
territory
• Model is based on seve...
Analysis
Scope of the mining facility
• The molten silicate and carbothermal
processes do not need vast amounts of
regolit...
Recommendations
• FERTILE Moon provides a
unique structure to examine
the economic feasibility of
using ISRU technologies ...
Thank you
If you have any questions, please contact:
Thakore@isu.isunet.edu
Thank you
If you have any questions, please contact:
Thakore@isu.isunet.edu
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Cost analysis Toolkit for In-situ Lunar Exploration. Presented to IAC 2006, by Bee Thakore, on behalf of ISU Fertile Moon Project Team

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The Fertile Moon team project at the Masters in Space Studies (2006, International Space University) set out to evaluate the economic feasibility of lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Technologies for hydrogen, oxygen, and water production by creating a model from an interdisciplinary perspective. This study compares the supply of resources produced in-situ on the Moon with those supplied from Earth and makes recommendations based on various scenarios. Presented on behalf of the Team by Bee Thakore at the IAC in 2006. Extended version of the presentation is available on request.

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Cost analysis Toolkit for In-situ Lunar Exploration. Presented to IAC 2006, by Bee Thakore, on behalf of ISU Fertile Moon Project Team

  1. 1. “To evaluate the economic feasibility of lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Technologies for hydrogen, oxygen, and water production by creating a model from an interdisciplinary perspective. This study compares the supply of resources produced in-situ on the Moon with those supplied from Earth and makes recommendations based on various scenarios” -FERTILE Moon Mission Statement- Miss Bijal Thakore IAC-06-A3.P.6.04 In-situ Resource Utilization for Space
  2. 2. For Energy costs, it is assumed that for all needs more than 10kW, nuclear power will be used and for all under 10kW, solar cells shall be employed In terms of costing, different ISRU processes incorporate different costing considerations, hence the base costing was compared to the ‘supply from Earth’ option Costing ISRUCosting ISRU • Cost for development and Production of an ISRU facility include all R&D required based on the current Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to make them flight ready. Capital Costs = CD&P + CInst Operating Costs = CSpare + CConsum + CEnergy + CLabor + CMining • AMCM for R&D costs • SOCM used for the labor costs • LUBSIM for Lunar Base cost sim • TRANSCOST for Earth-Moon Transportation • Mining capital costs include equipment cost and Earth-Moon transportation costs. • Equipment lifetime is considered to be 10 years.
  3. 3. Validating the model • ISRU costing and comparison for different processes is uncharted territory • Model is based on several assumptions concerning input data, functions, relationships between parameter, which affect its overall accuracy • Results were checked against several missions evaluated by previous modeling tools. • Most studies carried out in the past concentrate on permanent habitats, whilst the mixture of resources and supplies change constantly for FERTILE Moon
  4. 4. Analysis Scope of the mining facility • The molten silicate and carbothermal processes do not need vast amounts of regolith (due to their high efficiency) whilst hydrogen reduction of ilmenite and water extraction require close to 10 times more mined area to produce a similar oxygen output. Process costs and production runtimes • Hydrogen reduction is the first, excluding hydrogen extraction, to cross over the terrestrial option, at 160 days. • Results implies that producing the resources on the lunar surface will be more economical for short and medium durations
  5. 5. Recommendations • FERTILE Moon provides a unique structure to examine the economic feasibility of using ISRU technologies to support various types of missions. • The model incorporates current knowledge and data available about lunar resources • The model shall benefit from incorporating new knowledge from upcoming prospecting missions • The model is expandable and can be applied to more resources that can be produced in-situ
  6. 6. Thank you If you have any questions, please contact: Thakore@isu.isunet.edu
  7. 7. Thank you If you have any questions, please contact: Thakore@isu.isunet.edu

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