ISU MSS17 Joshua Rasera reports from ispace-inc


“I am currently working at the newly-formed office of ispace-inc., Europe in Luxembourg City. Currently, our office has four employees, two of whom are interns, and the managing director of our office is MSS15 alum Kyle Acierno.” writes Joshua Rasera. 

Joshua is currently carrying out his internship as part of the International Space University’s (ISU) Master of Space Studies (MSS).
 
“ispace-inc.'s Luxembourg office is taking advantage of the Space Resources initiative funded by the Luxembourgish government. As a part of our agreement with the government, we are working with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) to develop a lunar water prospecting mission that should fly in the early 2020s. ispace-inc. believes that water will be the "petroleum of space", in that it will be an appreciable driver of the space economy, as well as a source of fuel for satellites, rockets, and people. To this end, our mission will be to find and map in high-resolution the distribution of water in the polar regions.

I was very fortunate to begin my internship here at the ground floor of the Phase 0 development of this mission, as the work that I am doing here will directly impact the long-term development of the project. Right now, our office is working towards our first Mission Concept Review in September, where we will share our proposed mission with ESA and the Luxembourgish government. In working towards this goal, I have been working on developing preliminary systems budgets for mass, power, communications, and data, as well as developing operations scenarios for the rover. We are interested in exploring the polar regions on the Moon where water ice might be present. The polar regions of the moon have unique "permanently shadowed regions" that seldom (or never) receive any sunlight. This poses a unique set of design challenges, as the rover needs to bring along its own heating system to prevent its electronics from failing. In addition to this, our rover will be only 30 kg in total, so we have to be quite creative (and stingy) with how we allocate mass!”