NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-F2.01-9243 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 033762)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:In-Situ Resources Utilization of Planetary Materials for Human Space Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE:Mars Aqueous Processing System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A
Lakewood ,CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980 - 0890

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark H Berggren
mberggren@pioneerastro.com
Pioneer Astronautics 11111 W. 8th Ave; Unit A
Lakewood ,CO  80215 -5516
(303) 980 - 0231
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is an innovative method to produce useful building materials from Martian regolith. Acids and bases produced from the regolith are used to aid the preparation of metals (such as iron) and cement ingredients (such as lime and aggregate) for construction of habitats and infrastructure needed for early human colonization. As more regolith is processed, more acids and bases will be produced for use in manufacture of plastics, metals, polymers, and reagents useful for later, larger-scale human habitation. With the apparent abundance of water in certain locations on Mars, the proposed technology will enable the manufacture and fabrication of a variety of materials using only Mars indigenous materials with the use of processing equipment and catalysts brought from Earth.

The proposed processing methods are capable of extracting and separating regolith constituents via aqueous extraction followed by selective precipitation based on solution pH and oxidation potential. Thermal treatments such as drying (to remove moisture), roasting (to remove volatile sulfate and chloride acid precursors), and oxide reduction (using hydrogen, carbon monoxide, or carbon derived from Martian water and atmosphere) are integrated with the aqueous extraction methods to manufacture the basic building materials required to facilitate human habitation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The construction of Mars bases will be enabled by technologies that are capable of producing needed structural materials from Mars resources. The proposed MAPS concept uses available Mars resources to produce strong components under less-severe manufacturing conditions than alternative methods. Therefore, MAPS provides the additional benefit of reducing the size and mass of the required manufacturing equipment delivered to Mars from Earth.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Manufacturing technologies aimed at optimizing utilization of raw materials, minimizing equipment mass and complexity, and minimizing operating power have potential payoffs for terrestrial applications. In particular, developing regions with limited resources could produce useful products if strict composition and manufacturing requirements for export are not needed.