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Using Challenge Driven Innovation, ESA and ESRIC launched a Space Resources Challenge, where robotic prototypes competed on a lunar analogue terrain! 
 

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CHALLENGE
2021-2022

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What is prospecting resources on
the Moon?

ESA and ESRIC asked European industries and research institutions to find innovative technical methods for prospecting resources on the Moon. The Moon is the next step in human exploration.

In order to establish habitats there, we need ways to collect the resources already present on the Moon and use them in-situ. Prospecting is how we find such resources. Terrestrial prospecting technologies need to be adapted to the rigours of a dusty, vacuum environment and temperature extremes of the lunar surface. In an effort to draw lessons from further afield as possible we looked for ideas that would help us adapt resource prospecting to the space age. 

Mission Scenario

It is 2028. The European Large Logistic Lander just descended in the area between the Shoemaker and Faustini crater in the South Pole region of the Moon. 

The primary goal is to characterise and locate resources like water and metals with some ground truth measurements and produce an accurate map of the little impact crater a few hundred meters from the lander. The mission control room will analyse the images (visual & multi-spectral bands) to make a first resource map to guide future missions. 

 

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AIM OF THE CHALLENGE: DEVELOP TECHNOLOGIES TO IDENTIFY AND MAP SPACE RESOURCES

Timeline

21 APRIL, 2021

Start of Phase 1 -Challenge announcement during the ESRIC Space Resources Week

The OSIP portal for the challenge opens. This is the place to submit your paperwork, and the place where your proposal will be evaluated!

1st Information Day Event for participants hosted on ESA TV, Twitch, YouTube and Clubhouse. You can submit questions on the day using Slido, or in advance by emailing spaceresourceschallenge@esa.int

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2nd Information Day Event! For any additional questions, or teams that have decided to join later

Timeline

7 MAY 2021

The OSIP portal for the challenge opens.

20 MAY 2021

1st Information Session Event, 12:00h CEST, for participants hosted on WebEx.

31 JULY 2021

Final day for submission of your ideas on OSIP

29 AUGUST 2021

ESA - ESRIC invited 10 teams to the first field-test in the Netherlands.

29 October 2021

10 selected teams submit their final proposal answering the ESA ITT. 

22 - 26 NOVEMBER 2021

Teams showcase their technology during a 2.5 hour window.

JANUARY 2022

Five winners were chosen and given a €75,000 development contract to develop their prototypes further and join the second field test in Luxembourg in 2022

SEPTEMBER 2022

Start of Field Test 2 held in Luxembourg. The winners were evaluated by a jury and pending programmatic approval one winner will receive up to €550.000 in development contracts from ESA and ESRIC.

APRIL 2023

Winner announced during Space Resources Week 2023.

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