About Us

The Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources (ATCSR) is the University of Adelaide’s hub of sustainable planetary resource research and education, building a unique ecosystem for space resources research and commercialisation.

    Tablets sent into space by NASA

    University of Adelaide tablets arrived on board the International Space Station on 5 October, 2020. Photo: NASA

    The ATCSR is focused on identifying solutions and developing technologies supporting sustainable, self-sufficient resource exploration, extraction, processing and utilisation in extreme environments, on and off planet Earth.

    It is the focal point for the engineering, science and technology elements of ISRU and the supporting supply chain.

    Students, researchers and industry partners will also have direct access to the University’s space and resources ecosystem, gaining the opportunity to interact with imbedded industry partners, world leading university research capabilities, and university research collaborators.

    This includes University research institutes, centres and schools, such as:

    In-Situ Resource Utilisation

    Manufacturing and construction in a space environment faces significant technological and operational challenges if it is to be conducted independent of earth resources.

    The In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) concept, as pioneered by NASA, addresses the reliance on Earth-based materials for long term space exploration by proposing an off-world, self-contained resource chain covering the exploration, extraction and utilisation of the resources required for sustained space operations.

    This concept leads the way for the construction of habitation modules, industrial facilities, laboratories and transportation solutions utilising off-planet resources and materials. Success in ISRU operations will be fundamental to successful long-term habitation of other planetary bodies such as the Moon and Mars.

    The European Space Agency (ESA) is also advancing this concept as it prepares a lunar surface mission to demonstrate technologies needed to enable ISRU on the Moon. By 2025, the ESA aims to show that water or oxygen production on the Moon is feasible.

    Be involved

    The Centre is actively seeking partners interested in realising the ATCSR's vision for future sustainable resource exploration utilisation – both in Space and on Earth.

    Contact us