Development of the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and
Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) experiment package, initiated
in 2005, supported lunar robotic precursor missions that could be
flown to the rim or into a permanently shadowed crater with the objective
of answering these questions surrounding elevated hydrogen at the
lunar poles: What is it? How much is there? How deep or distributed
is it? To do this, a drill takes a core sample at least 1 meter deep,
crushes and heats sample segments from the core in an oven, and monitors
the amount and type of volatile gases that evolve with a gas chromatograph
(GC) as the sample rises in temperature. RESOLVE also selectively
captures both hydrogen gas and water as a secondary method of quantification.
A specialized camera that is coupled with a Raman spectrometer allows
core samples to be microscopically examined while also determining
their mineral composition and possible water content before heating.
Also, RESOLVE is aimed at demonstrating capabilities and techniques
that might be later used for ISRU, a large multiuse oven is also
incorporated that will introduce known quantities of hydrogen at
elevated temperatures to demonstrate a method for extracting oxygen
from lunar regolith.