Compete in a lunar economy [Jan/2019]
Sign up to the Metalysis–ESA Grand Challenge worth €500 000 rewarding innovation that helps us to explore space.
As ESA and other agencies prepare to send humans back to the Moon – this time to stay – technologies that make use of materials available in space (in-situ resource utilisation) are seen as key to sustainability, and a stepping stone in humankind's adventure to Mars and farther into the Solar System.
ESA is encouraging European industry to invest in the development of optimised technologies and systems that support future space exploration, the added benefit being that these ideas can also address sustainability and scarcity of resources on Earth.
Key sectors include metallurgy, chemical processing, mining, as well as oil and gas industry. In the longer term, resources in space may even be used on Earth.
The ESA Grand Challenge is part of the Agency’s Space 4.0 commitment to competitions that create new European entrepreneurs, innovation-led start-ups and new ventures.
Metalysis in South Yorkshire, has spent more than a decade developing and scaling up its electrochemical technology; a process that converts refined oxides and ores directly into valuable metal alloy powders used in 3D printing for aerospace, automotive and high-value manufacturing.
ESA invites competitors to devise process-monitoring systems that will work with the Metalysis electrochemical cells in space. Entries should be based on the electrochemical technology of Metalysis and support sustainable operations and outer planetary exploration from long-term space settlements.
The requirements of the Metalysis–ESA Grand Challenge are available here.