Skip to main content

Passive Protective Shields for lunar and martian outposts



Organisational Unit
16 May 2023

Duration: 36 months


Due to their (relative) proximity to Earth, the Moon and Mars represent promising candidates for initial extra-terrestrial settlements, possibly preceded by the robotic exploration of a swarm of semi-autonomous rovers and unmanned space vehicles. Several technologies should be developed and/or consolidated to translate these ambitions into accomplished missions. One critical challenge on Moon and Mars is the extreme variation of temperatures, which can damage the payloads and be detrimental to the human habitat. In response to this challenge, we have been focusing on developing a new material: aerogels from the in situ resources available in Martian and Lunar soil. The combination of aerogels with lunar regolith represents one of the advantages of thermal insulation (aerogel’s property) and heat storage (regolith’s property) simultaneously. In recent years, aerogels exploiting In-situ resources have increasingly been investigated in literature, and the process usually proposed is a sol-gel applicable to pre-processed regolith so to separate specific elements such as SiO2. In this project, we propose an innovative approach using pristine regolith and a freeze-dry process exploiting the Lunar and Martian conditions.

Contract number
OSIP Idea Id
Related OSIP Campaign
Open Channel
Main application area
Passive Protective Shields for lunar and martian outposts