Lunar Materials Handling System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ06JD81C
Agency Tracking Number: 053441
Amount: $69,990.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: X9.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215-5516
DUNS: 120561456
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Berggren
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 980-0231
 mberggren@pioneerastro.com
Business Contact
 Robert Zubrin
Title: Business Official
Phone: (303) 980-0890
Email: zubrin@aol.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The Lunar Materials Handling System (LMHS) is a method for transfer of bulk materials and products into and out of process equipment in support of lunar and Mars in situ resource utilization (ISRU). The LMHS conveys solids to the ISRU vessel, provides a gas-tight pressure/vacuum seal, and minimizes wear related to abrasive particles. Lunar and Mars ISRU scenarios require that equipment be operated over many cycles with minimal consumption of expendables and with minimal leakage in order to maintain high overall process leverage. ISRU processes can be demonstrated in the laboratory to establish basic feasibility with respect to reagent leverage. Reagent leverage is defined as the mass of commodity produced divided by the mass of reagents consumed. However, the process leverage component related to equipment wear and loss of gasses, reagents, or product through seals and valves is more difficult to establish from laboratory testing. The LMHS increases equipment life and minimizes process losses, thereby increasing overall leverage and reducing uncertainties in ISRU process evaluation. The LMHS is based on a seal arrangement by which lunar regolith can be introduced into and removed from reaction chambers operating under a wide range of batch operating conditions.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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