Thales Alanya was selected by the European Space Agency to develop a payload to extract oxygen from moon rock. The goal is to enable continued human activity on our natural satellite.

In order to permanently fill the Moon, sufficient resources are needed, including oxygen. In order not to have to take them from the Earth, you have to somehow carry them to the moon. Thales Alenia Space teams in the UK developed in collaboration with AVS, Metalysis, The Open University and Redwire Space Europe payload demonstrator The European Space Agency’s lunar mission, Using molten salt and electrolysis to extract oxygen from moon rocksthe burial. In this way, oxygen can be obtained in the quantities necessary for the natural colonization of the Earth’s satellite.

Getting this contract is very exciting. The use of processes and tools in space that work well on Earth will be of key importance in many areas of operations in the future. I am proud that the Thales Alenia Space teams, along with our invaluable partners AVS, Metalysis, The Open University and Redwire Space Europe, will conduct this study to meet the challenge of producing oxygen to support life on the Moon.

– said Andrew Stanland, CEO of Thales Alenia Space UK

The European Space Agency looks forward to working with Thales Alenia Space in the UK and its partners on the Space Assets Initiative. Further work on an oxygen extraction instrument will allow sustainable exploration of the Moon to become a reality.

Added David Benz, Systems Engineer at ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility

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lunar gate project

Thales Alenia Space, which is already responsible for the thermomechanical systems for the European service module of the Orion spacecraft, is heavily involved in the European Space Agency’s work on the scheme. Moon Gate manned space station. In this project, Thales is developing I-HAB (International Housing Unit) and ESPRIT (European Refueling System, Infrastructure and Telecommunication System). For Northrop Grumman Thales, Alenia Space is also developing a compressor unit for HALO (Residential Outpost and Logistics) – one of the first two components of the Lunar Gateway station to be introduced. Launched by the end of 2023.

Moon Gate is one of the pillars NASA Artemis programSupporting a balanced existence on the Moon and continuing exploration of outer space. It is an international project led by two major partners – NASA (US) and the European Space Agency (Europe). The Gateway station weighs about 40 tons, and will be automatically assembled piece by piece and placed in an NRHO (Near-Right Line Halo Orbit) around the Moon. It mainly includes crew accommodation units, power and propulsion systems, logistics units, communications systems, robotic arm and mooring ports. It is not intended for permanent residence, but will be able to accommodate it Crew from 4 for one to three months. The acquisition of new experiences on the Moon is expected to prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars from 2030, and the Gateway Station could play a key role in the process.

Research on the colonization of the moon

Besides current projects, Thales Alenia Space has also been selected to develop advanced solutions to ensure the continued presence of humans on the Moon. One such project is the EL3, which is big European lunar lander (EL3). It is an independent part of international lunar exploration activities and is a comprehensive system designed to support a variety of missions. It is designed to provide cargo handling and logistics for the NASA-led Artemis lunar missions, and to support the European mission to study the Moon’s south pole using an automated laboratory aboard the sampling rover.

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Image source: Thales Alenia Space

Text source: Thales Alenia Space