Economic Geology of Lunar and Asteroid Resources Seminar: Apr 13

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Lecturer: Angel Abbud-Madrid, Colorado School of Mines

Dr. Angel Abbud-Madrid is the Director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines, where he also leads the Space Resources Graduate Program, aimed at educating scientists, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers in the field of extraterrestrial resources. He is currently the President of the Space Resources Roundtable international organization. He has more than 30 years of experience in space projects on NASA’s drop towers, microgravity aircraft, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station and received the NASA Astronauts’ Personal Achievement Award for his contributions to human spaceflight. Dr. Abbud-Madrid holds a B.S.E. in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from ITESM, México, and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Topic: Martian Resources

With close to thirty successful spacecraft missions including flybys, orbiters, landers, and surface rovers, Mars is the most studied planet to date, after Earth. In terms of resources, Mars has a wide variety and a large quantity of useful elements, including minerals, metals, non-metals, gases, regolith, and water. Contrary to the Moon and asteroids, Mars has a thin atmosphere and has gone through an extensive set of geological processes resulting in a complex planetary body. All the resources needed to support life and extend human exploration are present on the surface and shallow subsurface of the planet. However, the most important near-term resource on Mars for propellant production, materials processing, human consumption, growing crops, and radiation shielding is undoubtedly water. A recent study conducted by an interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers identified the various potential usable water resource deposits on Mars, evaluated the engineering systems needed to extract water from these ore sources, and prepared a sensitivity analysis of the production system to the known or potential geological variations present on the various deposits. This study resulted on a description of the preliminary implications of water availability from these resource deposits for the human and robotic exploration of the Red Planet.

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