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Cx Bio

Harnessing the Bioeconomy to Design a Sustainable Future

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Regolith to Oxygen


Collaboration between ESA and Cx Bio announced in 2022

We are excited to announce that Connectomix (Cx Bio) and the European Space Agency are collaborating on a study aimed at increasing humanity's access to deep space.

  • The growing Space Economy will require lots of propellant for deep space operations and satellite refuelling.

  • The major component of propellant is actually oxygen (>3:1 O2 to fuel).

  • Though abundant on Earth, carrying oxygen from the Earth’s surface to orbit is highly uneconomical, and unsustainable. Approximately 10 tons of O2 are consumed to bring only 1 ton of O2 to orbit.

  • Therefore, a new solution is needed to truly unlock transportation of explorers and cargo in deep space. 

  • How can we build a resilient space economy?

  • Solution: If we can bring oxygen from the Moon to rendez-vous with space stations and ships, it can make deep space much more accessible (because the Moon has 1/6th gravity, and no atmosphere).

  • Turns out, oxygen is ubiquitous and abundant on the Moon in the form of metal-oxides, which can be electrochemically reduced to liberate molecular oxygen.

  • The potential of producing oxygen on the Moon has been studied extensively by space agencies and academia. However, so far there are no studies of the end to end production production energy requirements for these systems. 

  • We currently don't know if making a 1 ton of oxygen per month on the Moon needs 1 soccer field of solar panels or 100 soccer fields, which limits a lot of mission planning.

  • Connectomix is collaborating with ESA to calculate how much energy is needed for oxygen production facilities on the Moon. 

  • This work will help guide investments in technologies and  site selections for lunar operations.

  • We are leveraging our team's expertise in chemistry, mass flow, and energy flow for this project.

  • If you'd like to learn more about this work don't hesitate to reach out to us !

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