Our mission aims to use an asteroid as seat of a space base. The main target of the mission is to obtain resources: a part of them will be sent to Earth for economic purposes, another part will be used to continue the mission of creating and sending probes on other asteroids or other human bases. The space base will be built directly on the asteroid using a 3d printer, exploiting the raw materials obtained on it.

This project is solving the Create Your Own Asteroid Mission challenge.


The primary goal of the project is setting a mining base on Ceres, with three main objectives:

-To prove the feasibility of future deep-space missions
-The use of advanced technologies to make an autonomous system which does not require humans
-To find an alternative source of resources to reduce the impact that mining is causing on the Earth.

For doing this we will use a probe.

Our probe, which will carry the payload, will have a truncated squared-base pyramid shape, from its bottom an auger will attach it to the asteroid subsoil.

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Our payload consists of a mobile device that once get to the asteroid it sets the way for a lab/factory set; in this set we will find a mineral extractor, a mass spectrometer, an electrolytic cell, a material separator, a last generation solar panel, an electronic control unit and a 3D printer.

Main topics of the mission will be:


In order to reach Ceres, our probe should get in orbit around it.
Through different mass spectrometric measurements, our probe will identify zones with the highest concentration of desired materials, taking into account the presence of water and the surface tendency.
Airbags are going to be used to soften the impact for the laboratory-factory set; then harpoons are going to fix the structure to the ground so it will not bounce off.

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The energy needed for landing on the asteroid and the first activities is provided by solar panels installed on the probe.
These panels have a high efficiency because they are able to absorb ultraviolet frequencies, infrared, and visible light.


After the landing, it will open like a "flower ", and the lab/factory set will get out from the probe. Mine-bot will move to the previously chosen region , where it will anchor there and activate the mineral extractors.
The obtained material will pass through a mesh tube of iron heated so that ice could melt and carried towards the electrolytic cell, where it will be separated into hydrogen and oxygen.
Meanwhile, the solid material will continue towards the end of the tube. Afterwards this will pass close to the magnets that will extract metals, and, finally, remains will go towards the non-metallic materials shredder.

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We want to use a metal 3D printer to create the needed elements for our mission that are:

-Electrolytic cells: Separates H2O so Hydrogen become a combustible that will react with the Oxygen beeing this one its combustible agent.
-Low efficiency panels: By using Aluminium for the contacts, silicon as the main component and using other minerals as doping elements.
-Electronic devices: for controlling production expantion.
-Reentry module for saving rare elements: Engines and metallic mesh.

We should be able to do that thanks to Selective Inhibition Sintering (SIS) (This project was funded by the National Science Foundation and was developed within the CRAFT laboratories at the University of Southern California).
In order to solve the problem of fusion temperatures we can use a liquid chimic solution (C12H22O11), which can be synthesized with elements taken from Ceres.

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Packing and dispatch

Reentry modules are assembled by the robotic arm and then filled through the valve of rare raw materials, previously sieved, after the components have been realized by the 3D printer.
The reentry module is sent to earth or space station , using the hydrogen engine.

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Project Information

License: GNU Affero General Public License 3.0 (AGPL-3.0)"

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  • Sibilla Camiz
  • Stefano Iuliani
  • Laurentiu Constantin Niculut
  • Francesca Alessandri
  • martina muratore
  • Berardino Lovallo
  • Fabrizio Capozzi
  • Sara Cappellari
  • Pablo Andrés Trevisani
  • Bryan Lara
  • Damiana Catanoso
  • Federico Bernardi
  • Fabio Peretti
  • Sibilla Camiz