Launch 2.jpg
REXUS_BEXUS_Logo2.png
Logo_small.png

IMFEX

(ISRU MoonFibre EXperiment)

This time to stay!

Space industry experiences renewed interest to return to the Moon. One of the goals of NASA’s Artemis project is to establish a permanent lunar settlement by the year 2028. Other entities aim to mine lunar resources, perform scientific experiments and send tourists to the Moon. All of these initiatives share a common bottleneck, which is very high launch costs. In order to minimize the costs, equipment should be produced on the Moon as much as possible by using local materials. One type of materials that can be produced are fibre-based materials, which are used extensively on Earth and will find various usages on the Moon as well. Such materials are developed by the MoonFibre project.

Artemis.jpg

The MoonFibre project - Fibre from lunar regolith.

The MoonFibre project is jointly developed by Institute für Textiltechnik and Institute for Structural Design and Lightweight Design of RWTH Aachen University. It aims to develop a technology that can produce fibre-based materials from lunar regolith using only energy as input. Possible use-cases for these materials include filters, fibre-reinforced structures, hydroponic substrates or insulation materials. In this way, the MoonFibre project aims to reduce the cost and increase the sustainability of lunar settlements.

Slide1.JPG
esrange.jpg
spinning-wheel.png

SPINNING OF BASALT FIBRES IN SPACE

 

This has never been attempted before!

search (1).png

DETECT SPUN FIBRES DURING FLIGHT

Successful mission even if rocket retrieval fails.

facility.png

DEVELOP PROOF OF CONCEPT FACILITY

Our spinning facility will be miniaturized and fully autonomous.

microscope.png

DETERMINE INFLUENCE OF GRAVITY

On the spinning process and the mechanical properties of the spun fibres.

  • Module Size: Ø356 x 220 mm

  • Unique centrifugal fiber spinning apparatus: heated & insulated platin rhodium bushing with two nozzles rotated at 10 Hz

  • Forced convection cooling: molten material quenched by air at 1 bar inside a pressurized vessel

  • Active cooling system: three fans circulate the cooling air while the experiment is on the launchpad

  • Passive Heat Sink: heat generated during flight stored latently using paraffin phase change material inside additively manufactured heat sink

  • Power: experiment is powered by ground power supply and an onboard battery

  • Fiber detection: the spinning process monitored by two cameras

Image1.jpg

Battery & Computer Compartment

Heat Sink

Bushing

Wall Mounted Bulkhead

Cooling System Hot Side Valve

Cooling System fans

Copper Sliding Contacts

Pressure

Logo_small.png
race.png
1_DLR Logo long.png
rym.png
1_SSC Logo.png
REXUS_BEXUS_Logo2.png
2_Maxon Logo.png
2_ntopology logo.png
Schupp.jpg
2_EOS Logo.png
HHV STIftung.png
2_topink4you logo.png
PROMAT-15f2f748-log1.gif
BÖll.png
Rausch.png
logo-ESD-protect.png
bach.png

Our Support

Program Organizers

Project Phases Overview

Final Experiment Design

Mission Objectives

The team formed independently of the Space Team Aachen. Today, it is a cooperation project between IMFEX, the Space Team Aachen and the MoonFibre Project

To achieve the required microgravity we turned to the REXUS/BEXUS student programme. The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Experts from DLR, SSC, ZARM and ESA provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project. EuroLaunch, the cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. We are participating in the current Rexus 30/31 programm and IMFEX shall fly on REXUS 30 in March 2022.

.

IMFEX fits in this bigger MoonFibre picture.