PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OffWorld Europe and the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) have recently signed a pivotal agreement to launch a comprehensive, multi-year development program for an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) processing system focused on ice resources. This system will play a vital role in facilitating sustainable lunar exploration by enabling the extraction, processing, and storage of vital resources directly from the Moon's surface. The project, which is under the oversight of the European Space Agency, will leverage OffWorld's cutting-edge robotic modules that are capable of carrying out a range of functions, including prospecting, mining, processing, storing and delivering oxygen, hydrogen, and other volatiles to customers on the lunar surface. The program is already underway, and the first demonstration mission on the lunar surface is slated for 2027.
OffWorld's state-of-the-art swarm robotic systems will be utilized to transport the processing modules into a permanently shadowed region on the lunar surface where water ice is thought to form and accumulate. OffWorld Europe's objective is to process all excavated critical material, developing capabilities to process lunar volatiles and dry regolith into valuable consumables such as life support gases, propellants, and water supplies for radiation protection, hydroponics, and other life support systems.
This project has the potential to catapult the space industry forward and pave the way for human expansion into the rest of the solar system, while also benefiting life here on Earth by driving innovation in robotics, technology, and resource processing. OffWorld deployed the world’s first autonomous excavation robot in an operating mine and is now the first company to have secured mining development contracts on two celestial bodies, both Earth and the Moon. The company will reach out to customers over the next few months and intends to fly this payload on one of the first SpaceX Starship missions to the Moon.
Jim Keravala, OffWorld Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, said: “This collaboration is a thrilling new venture for OffWorld Europe and an example of how our swarm robotic mining platform applications can be customized and adapted to a variety of customers, use-cases and environments. Our autonomous robots are currently being deployed for Earth mining and our ISRU technology subsystem is a subset of OffWorld’s overall concept for mining alien regolith for volatiles, minerals, and the overall creation of foundational manufacturing industries on other celestial bodies. I look forward to seeing what our robotic platforms will accomplish in the unchartered territories that were once thought impossible to operate in.”
Kyle Acierno, OffWorld Europe Managing Director, stated: "This partnership showcases the power of international collaboration in space exploration. By working with the Luxembourg Space Agency and the European Space Agency, we are advancing in-situ resource utilization technologies and reinforcing Luxembourg’s position in the global space ecosystem."
Marc Serres, LSA CEO, commented: “Space resources utilization has the potential to revolutionize space activities. The technology developed by OffWorld will be instrumental in space with numerous applications on Earth. We are looking forward to the next steps of the project, which will also contribute to reinforcing Luxembourg’s positioning in the field of space resources.”
OffWorld is a private company that designs, develops, and manufactures AI-powered robotic platforms. It is headquartered in Pasadena, California, and has facilities in South Africa, Australia, and Luxembourg. OffWorld was founded in 2016 with the goal of expanding human civilization beyond Earth with the help of thousands of smart robots. It is reinventing the mining, manufacturing, and construction industries by developing a new generation of swarm robotic species that can withstand extreme conditions and work collaboratively in an eco-friendly approach while keeping humans out of harm’s way.