Research course

In-situ Resource Utilisation in Space Habitats

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

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Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) degree in physics, electronic engineering or related subject.

Months of entry


Course content

Over the last decade, Space Architecture – the theory and practice of designing and building an environment for humans in outer space – has become an emerging issue in the context of future space exploration and is increasingly seen as a fundamental requirement for supporting long-term space settlement and exploration on other planetary bodies.

The scientists and engineers in the Space Instrumentation Group at The Open University have been involved in the development of In-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) in space for many decades. Since 2013, The Open University has been investigating on the development of ISRU-based 3D printing techniques for extra-terrestrial construction applications. Due to the unfamiliar lunar surface environment, utilising the local resources and adapting the existing terrestrial technologies for the lunar surface environment are particularly challengeable.

Through this ground-breaking research path, we will address important challenges of construction processes in an extra-terrestrial environment and investigate 3D printing-based robotic construction process and materials, particularly on the Moon and Mars.

Our studentship will provide an excellent opportunity to work alongside experts towards one of ESA ISRU demonstration missions due to be launched over the next decade.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 858253