The purpose of the following research is to explore molten regolith electrolysis (MRE) methodology for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) of Highlands lunar regolith, to be explored during the initial Artemis missions. An analysis of potential commercial launch providers for MRE-equipment based on technology-readiness level (TRL), payload mass support, and $ USD/kg payload price is provided. SpaceX is ultimately proposed as a launch provider of MRE equipment following multi-factorial analysis, with the SpaceX Starship human landing system (HLS) variant proposed for supporting MRE payload. Finally, customers of regolith-derived oxygen, aluminum, and silicon are distinguished to form the business case for operating MRE equipment on the lunar surface.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Harper, Cheyenne, "Molten Regolith Electrolysis Processing for Lunar ISRU: Financial and Physics Analysis of SpaceX Starship Transportation" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1098.