A brief review of chemical and mineralogical resources on the Moon and likely initial in situ resource utilization (ISRU) applications

Anand, M.; Crawford, I. A.; Balat-Pichelin, M.; Abanades, S.; van Westrenen, W.; Péraudeau, G.; Jaumann, R. and Seboldt, W. (2012). A brief review of chemical and mineralogical resources on the Moon and likely initial in situ resource utilization (ISRU) applications. Planetary And Space Science, 74(1) pp. 42–48.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2012.08.012

Abstract

In situ resource utilization (ISRU) refers to the in situ generation of consumables for autonomous or human activities from raw materials found on the Moon or other planetary bodies. The use of ISRU on the Moon may provide a means of reducing the cost and risk of human exploration of the Moon and beyond, and an impetus for commercial contributions to lunar exploration. Potential products include O2 and H2O for life support, H2 and O2 for fuel and propellant, and other elements and compounds for metallurgic and chemical production processes.

If ISRU is to be applied successfully on the Moon, it is important that landing site selection, surface operations and suitable ISRU technologies are identified using knowledge of the availability and distribution of lunar resources and detailed understanding of the workings of the various processes available. Here, we review current knowledge of chemical and mineralogical resources on the Moon which can be used in the development of ISRU as a realistic component of future lunar exploration.

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