Small Body Regolith Extraction System, Phase I

Metadata Updated: May 2, 2019

This project will develop a specialized flexible microgravity subsurface drilling and regolith extraction system which could extract significant quantities of regolith from depths between 1m and 3m below the surface through a small (~2.6cm diameter) entrance drill hole. Such a drill system could selectively extract just the fine-fraction of regolith from depths which have not been exposed to significant space-weathering (e.g. by utilizing its unique oversize-particle-rejecting drill-head feeder). The flexible drill system could be utilized to create horizontal wells for direct insitu extraction of volatiles on the moon, for instance, without removing the bulk of the regolith (e.g. see Walton et al 2014a, b) or it could excavate subsurface volumes of regolith of the order of 0.5m3 through a single small entrance hole, for small body applications. If the near-surface regolith on a small body is primarily comprised of small particulates, with say at least 70% by mass being particles smaller than 2mm, then such a system could create a subsurface excavation on the order of 0.3m3 to 0.4m3 during a sunlit operating time duration of less than 100hrs (assuming the bulk density of the regolith is on the order of 1g/cc). Microgravity capable storage and transfer vessels and conveying lines (demonstrated in previous phase-1 SBIR projects, Walton et al 2012; 2014) could be utilized to store, dispense, or transfer the material in continuous or batch modes to other equipment for processing (i.e., the microgravity storage vessels could act as a buffer volume to provide a uniform rate of delivery for a continuous process, or they could dispense material in batches, as needed). The entire regolith extraction system is enclosed with minimal loss of volatiles and no extraneous debris after initiation of the drill-hole.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_33458
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Datagov Dedupe Retained 20190501230127
Harvest Object Id 88e85140-c904-4afd-854c-0f28befbf800
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2015-12-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash bac1f4912013ea95951bbcc5440c3f762f2859a3
Source Schema Version 1.1

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