SPACE FLIGHT SYSTEMS RADIOISOTOPE POWER SYSTEMS PROGRAM OFFICE NATIONAL CENTER FOR SPACE EXPLORATION RESEARCH EXTERNAL PARTNERS EDUCATION/OUTREACH SPACE EXPLORATION BENEFITS PROGRAM SUPPORT IMAGE GALLERY



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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.

 

 

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