Our Mission, Vision, and Expertise

The Center for Space Resources (CSR) is a research and technology development center dedicated to the human and robotic exploration of space and the utilization of its resources for the benefit of our society through the joint efforts of academia, government, and the private sector.

The Center for Space Resources (CSR) pursues the study and utilization of space and planetary resources by developing technologies for prospecting, drilling, excavation and extraction, materials processing and manufacturing, and spacecraft and habitat life-support systems. In addition to the many practical uses of space exploration on Earth, the greatest achievement bringing benefits to humankind would be to develop in-space commercial applications of space technology and planetary resources. These applications will one day form the basis for new space industries that will include:

  • Harvesting of solar energy outside the Earth atmosphere
  • Development of an in-space reusable transportation infrastructure carrying payloads from Earth to geostationary orbits, the Moon, Mars and back
  • Servicing of satellites and orbiting spacecraft to extend their useful lifetimes and reduce the costs of space operations
  • Processing of value-added materials in Earth orbit based on planetary resources
  • Utilization of resources for in-situ planetary applications, such as energy, propellants, manufacturing, and habitat development

Following the distinguished tradition on Earth resources curriculum and research programs at the Colorado School of Mines, the Center for Space Resources is extending the expertise of the School outside our planet, by supporting the human and robotic exploration and utilization of resources in space, the Moon, and other planetary bodies in our Solar System. The Center pursues these objectives by establishing joint education, research, and technology development projects with other academic institutions, government agencies, international partners, and companies in the private sector in the following areas:

  • Lunar and martian regolith properties
  • Planetary soil drilling and excavation
  • Extraction and processing of volatile and solid planetary material
  • In-situ resource utilization (ISRU) technologies
  • Advanced manufacturing with planetary materials for equipment and habitat construction
  • Lunar and planetary dust characterization, management, and mitigation techniques
  • Sensors for trace-species and biogenic gas detection on the Moon and Mars
  • Life support systems on spacecraft and planetary habitats, including fire suppression, environmental monitoring and control, water processing, and energy generation from waste and fuel cells
  • Advanced materials for in-space repairs and thermal protection
  • Technical and economic analyses for identifying potential commercial developments in space