Centre brings together expertise in space resources

The sustainable use of resources in space is the focus of a new centre at the University of Adelaide.

Named the Centre for Sustainable Planetary and Space Resources (CSPSR), it will provide a point for experts to come together and see how resources in space can be used in space, as well as on earth.

Leading the school will be associate professor of off-earth resources, John Culton III.

“Our new Centre will focus existing expertise from the University of Adelaide and that of potential partners and stakeholders, to meet the challenge to find a sustainable way to use resources in space,” said Culton.

While the Centre will utilise the expertise of those in the mining and resources centre, manufacturers with expertise in remote sensing and the operation of remote devices will be in need at the new Centre, as Professor Michael Goodsite, head of school, Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering (CEME), said.

“Lessons learned from developing in-situ resource utilisation in space will have a direct impact on improving sustainable use of terrestrial resources, in much the same way that technology developed for early space exploration was applied to help improve life on Earth,” said Goodsite.

“Long-term space exploration requires a fundamental rethinking of technologies, processes and infrastructure.”

With the current Artemis mission from NASA aiming to establish a long-term presence on the Moon as a basis for further exploration, the utilisation of resources on the Moon will be essential to the future success of further endeavours.

“The next space revolution rests on the ability to produce materials and structures in space,” said Culton.

In this context, manufacturers have a key role to play.

“Experts in machine learning will find ways to enable robots operating in space to see and move independently, and experts in systems automation will enable them to operate as efficiently as possible and minimise waste,” said Goodsite.