Sustainable living and working farther from Earth.

STMD’s Live thrust is about sustainable living and working farther from Earth. This thrust includes a number of different capabilities such as: in situ resource utilization, advanced power, advanced thermal, advanced materials, structures and construction, and advanced life support and human performance.

Niki Werkheiser from NASA explains the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative which is tasked to develop transformative capabilities for lunar surface exploration. She discusses an overview of the following topics: in-situ resource utilization, sustainable surface power, extreme access, extreme environments, dust mitigation, excavation, and construction.

What is PRIME-1? Find out about polar exploration on the Moon. More details on this project can be found here.

In-Situ Resource Utilization

Gerald Sanders from NASA begins the discussion on ISRU with information on propellant and consumable production. The goal is to provide 75% of propellant and water/air consumables from local resources.

Dr. Leslie Gertsch from the Missouri University of Science and Technology discusses mining the moon. You can find several more articles about mining the moon. Here are a few to read if you would like additional information. Mining the Moon – Mining Technology ( Mining Rare Minerals on the Moon Vital to National Security? | Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (, and Harnessing Power from the Moon | NASA.

Dr. Laura Villafane Roca from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign discusses dust and how it can impact our plans to return to the moon and later Mars.

Advanced Power Systems

Power generation, power management, distribution, and energy storage are basic requirements for future exploration. Ray Beach of NASA discusses the importance of advanced power in this video.

Advanced Materials, Structure & Construction

Dr. Andrew Dombard from the University of Illinois-Chicago explains the structure of the lunar lithosphere.

See how Swamp Works is using the resources on the moon to build a future lunar base. Find out more about Swamp Works here.

Advanced Life Support & Human Performance

Jim Broyan from NASA discusses advanced life support and human performance. He covers the nine capabilities areas which are divided into two categories, environmental control, life support, and crew health and performance systems.

Noshir Contractor from Northwestern University explains in more depth the effects of a human mission to Mars. Find out more about NASA’s HERA project here.

NASA’s Chris Hansen explains the Next Generation Spacesuit, the Exploration EMU (xEMU).

Dr. Wesley Swingley from Northern Illinois University talks about the Elements of Life. He discusses cyanobacteria and the origin of life on earth.

Dr. Darron Luesse from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville discusses plant growth and development in space. You can find out more about why NASA wants to grow plants in space here.

University of Illinois Chicago PhD student Cynthia Garcia Eidell discusses land and ocean salinity monitoring.

Advanced Thermal

Dr. John Shelton from Northern Illinois University explains the heat generated in space and how we mitigate those effects.

Please Note: Transcripts are only available on the Illinois Space Tech Academy videos. These videos also have closed captioning available in English and Spanish.

Check Your Understanding

Q1 : Which of the following are lunar resources discovered on the moon?
Q2 : Lunar mining refers to:
Q3 : Which of the following is not one of the 3 observations needed to identify the state of the lithosphere of the moon?
Q4 : The Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative LSII collaborates with the following groups in order to further the capabilities for lunar surface exploration?
Q5 : Why did scientists decide to use Arabidopsis Thaliana seeds in the experiment to test plant growth in outer space?
Q6 : True/False: Based on the mathematical model developed by scientists, they now have solutions to address personality conflicts while working in isolation so that crews are more efficient and productive.
Q7 : Which of the following is not a type of power system?

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