Recycling of hardware for Moon and Martian settlement

September 2022 – February 2024
ESA Express Procurement Plus – EXPRO+

Nowadays, human Moon and Mars exploration, and the consequent desire to establish a permanent settlement on their surface, represents one of the most fascinating challenge to face. The permanent presence of a human outpost very far from Earth raises the problem of the huge amount of payload required for the settlement, as well as the need of rapid and in- time supply of material and spare parts useful for all the activities carried out in-situ. Understanding if and how the recycling of available in-situ resources (resource found at the destination and/or no longer useful hardware brought form Earth for mission purposes) is feasible for Moon and Mars settlement is one of the critical and more challenging further steps in future manned Space missions. Concerning the recycling of waste generated in crewed mission, Additive Layering Manufacturing (ALM) can offer a solution if the in-situ resources, after having undergone a proper recycled process, will be proved to be suitable for processing as feedstock material. On the other hand, a second crucial aspect for In-Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU) is the viability to partially or completely re-process or re-combine hardware and materials brought from Earth and that cannot any longer play their role for mission purpose, consequently turned them into hardware useful at the destination. Several and of the most diverse aspects of Moon and Mars settlements can benefit from this if, for instance, maintenance tools, utensils, medical patient-specific back-up implants, habitat elements and research instrumentation can be envisaged as outcomes of this recycling process.

HARMONISE studies aspects of recycling of hardware for Moon and Martian settlement and develops small demonstrators to prove feasibility of the chosen concepts.

Consortium partners  

OHB Systems AG, Azimut Space GmbH , LIQUIFER Systems Group

LIQUIFER team: René Waclavicek, Monika Brandic Lipinska, Daniel Schubert, Bob Davenport †, Chris Gilbert, Barbara Imhof