Lunar Extraction Project AdvancesBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:08
Airbus Defense and Space, the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and Mexican startup Dereum Labs are joining forces to develop technologies to extract lunar resources and build the industrial ecosystem necessary to build this technology in Mexico. The project will invite specialized Mexican universities to participate.
“This agreement represents the first step in a fruitful collaboration with Mexico in space activities. Being able to extract and process lunar resources is essential to sustain life over the long term on the Moon. This collaboration brings together the right partners with the latest technologies and capabilities for a clearer horizon in lunar exploration,” said Víctor de la Vela, Head of Airbus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In a joint press release, Airbus, AEM and Dereum Labs announced the creation of a new Mexican In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) program for lunar extraction that will help develop the industrial ecosystem necessary for this technology and pave the way for future space exploration developments in Mexico in cooperation with the public and private entities from Mexico and abroad. The technologies developed in Mexico will contribute to a sustainable presence of humanity on the Moon and will be crucial in sustaining life and providing the necessary resources for further exploration. If these technologies prove successful, it will not be required to send resources such as oxygen, water and fuel from earth.
This event adds to Airbus’s previous commitments with Mexico. Previously, MBN reported that the company reinforced its commitment to Mexico by presenting a wide selection of products, innovations and services during FAMEX 2021. The OEM will also open a Helieschool in Yucatan by the end of 2021.
Airbus Defense and Space and Dereum Labs share the same vision that leading land-based companies in key sectors such as energy, infrastructure and mining should also be part of Moon exploration programs “In a few years, industries that are not related to space today will be doing business on the Moon, Mars and beyond. With this agreement, the Mexican Space Agency, Airbus Defense and Space and Dereum Labs are together taking a huge step towards that future; today, Mexico is contributing to the long-term human presence in space,” said Carlos Mariscal, Director of Dereum Labs.
Each participant is focusing on one part of the project, “Dereum Labs is developing innovative swarms of low-cost, modular rovers to demonstrate the mobility and communicability of robotic vehicles on the Moon for data gathering and mapping of lunar resources. Airbus is focusing on the key bricks for a lunar ecosystem: it is developing the technology to get vehicles and cargo to the Moon’s surface and then explore and extract resources. It is also developing the ROXY system to extract oxygen and metals from lunar regolith since they are key elements of a sustainable lunar presence,” according to the Airbus press release.