The Technology Transfer and Partnerships Office
2nd ISRU Surface Operations Analog Field Test

Field Location: Mauna Kea, Hawaii                               Field Dates: Jan. 24 – Feb. 14, 2010


  • Demonstrate All Phases of Space Resource Utilization Operation Cycle
  • Begin integration of ISRU with other Surface System elements
  • Incorporate International Space Agency Hardware & Ops in Critical Roles

Field Test Purpose:
  • Advance ISRU hardware and system hardware over 1st analog field test; ISRU ‘mining’ cycle
  • Expand ISRU system/capability integration with other transportation and surface elements
  • Increase scope and criticality of international partner involvement in ISRU development

NASA Hardware-Operation Objectives
  • O2 Production from Regolith: Test enhanced Oxygen extraction from regolith system & operations
  • ISRU Product Storage & Utilization: Test hardware, operations, and energy systems that promote product usage
  • Lunar ISRU, Exploration, & Science Integration: Integrate lunar exploration, resource & site evaluation, and lunar science objectives, instruments, and operations
  • Site Preparation: Test hardware, operations, and surface sintering techniques
  • Field Geology Training: Train astronauts, ISRU, and NASA/CSA management on geology

8 System Modules — 7 Instruments
6 NASA Centers, 6 Small Businesses, 5 Universities
(42 people plus visitors)

12 System Modules & Attachments; Infrastructure
3 Canadian Government Agencies, 8 Small Businesses, 2 Universities
(46 people plus visitors)

ISRU O2 Production and Construction
Major Results of Test Campaign
Dust to Thrust Successful: Demonstrate hardware and operations in all steps in ISRU from finding resources to utilizing in power and propulsion applications

Integration of Surface/Transportation Elements Successful: Integrate ISRU, Power, Fluid Management, and Propulsion modules to 'Close the Loop' for better understanding of interfaces and design impacts

  • Extracted oxygen from local tephra (28 gms or 9.6% ave. yield) using advanced processing and regolith transfer hardware in end-to-end configuration
  • Electrolyzed water from tephra and fuel cell, transferred oxygen to cryogenic cart for liquefaction, and performed 17 LO2/CH4 thruster firings; "Dust to Thrust"
  • Sintered two surface pads with two different methods and performed thruster firings with high speed camera to understand plume effects on unmodified and modified surfaces
  • Integrated NASA and CSA/Canadian hardware in multiple critical applications
  • Operated RESOLVE remotely from KSC and Solar Collector, Carbothermal Reactor, and Water Electrolysis systems remotely from JSC
  • Tested SMD FSAT and MMAMA instruments for site/mineral characterization and support oxygen extraction process evaluation
  • Completed field geology training with NASA and CSA managers and a CSA astronaut