ESA Space Resources Strategy
Publication date: 23 May 2019
The resources of space offer a means to enable sustainable exploration of the Moon and Solar System beyond in support of the advancement of ESA's space exploration strategy. The challenge of space resources can also be a means to stimulate innovation on Earth, to find new ways to address global challenges and to generate near to mid-term economic returns for terrestrial industries.
The utilisation of space resources for exploration may be within reach for the first time; made possible by recent advances in our knowledge and understanding of the Moon and asteroids, increased international and private sector engagement in space activities and the emergence of new technologies. Key sectors of interest include mining, metallurgy, materials, energy, robotics and autonomy. The first utilisation of space resources will be on the Moon; a source of water, oxygen, metals and other materials.
The strategy covers the period up to 2030, by which time the potential of lunar resources will have been established through measurements at the Moon, key technologies will have been developed and demonstrated and a plan for their introduction into international mission architectures will have been defined. Priorities for investments will be based on the available materials at the Moon, their applications in exploration and the demonstrated interest from terrestrial industries to partner and co-invest.
The resources of Mars and asteroids are also important considerations and activities at the Moon should prepare the way for future utilisation at these locations.Link to publication