Our capability and proven expertise in Space Resource Utilisation (SRU) research has connected us into the mining and space industries. We closely collaborate with NASA and European Space Resources Innovation Centre (Luxembourg), and other industry partners.

Our academics work very closely with UNSW’s Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) in order to reduce the risks perceived by investors in space resource extraction ventures. ACSER and MERE research groups currently have several PhD students working in the areas of SRU.

We aim to analyse technologies specific to resource exploration, extraction and new mining systems, and processing in space, familiar to terrestrial miners and achieve technology and knowledge between space and mining industries.

Our competitive advantage

  • Studies conducted partnering with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kennedy Space Center and Luxembourg Space Agency and ispace in SRU research
  • The multidisciplinary research team brings together an experience of strong researchers and engineering experts with unique skills and specialised knowledge to meet a range of technological and logistical challenges.
  • Pursue unique research into the extraction of commodities, such as water from the Moon, Mars and asteroids with the long-term aim to reduce the risk perceived by a potential investor.

Recent research projects

  • The U.S. Government funding:
    - Comprehensive Modelling for Off-Earth Mining Optimization and Resource Processing Collaborating with Ascentech, Virginia Tech and NASA Kennedy Space Center. Outcome: Mars Mining Operation Optimiser - M2O2
    - An Integrated Economics Model for ISRU In Support of A Mars Colony. Collaborating with Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
    -  Software - Water Extraction Mars Mining Model - WEM3 in collaboration with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
  • Luxembourg Space Agency and ispace funding:
    - Co-developed Lunar Ore Reserves Standards 101 (LORS-101) with space.

Our partners

  • Kennedy Space Centre, NASA
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech/NASA
  • Luxembourg Space Agency - European Space Resources Innovation Centre
  • ispace
  • Honeybee Robotics
  • Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA)
  • Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT)

Facilities & infrastructure

  • Advanced visualisation laboratory
  • Water mining extraction model tools
  • Controlled environment laboratory
  • 3D printer

Our people

Contact us

For more information, contact Professor Serkan Saydam.

E: s.saydam@unsw.edu.au