Space Resources Program

The first program in the world focused on educating scientists, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers in the developing field of space resources.


Since the 1990s, Colorado School of Mines has been a leading institution for the study of space resources and in situ resource utilization (ISRU). It has also become a destination for space scientists and engineers, government agencies, aerospace companies, entrepreneurs, the mining and minerals industry, financial and legal experts, and policy makers to discuss all topics related to this field.

In recent years, growing interest in space resources by space agencies and the private sector has been driven by an awareness that further  exploration and growth of commercial opportunities in space will require extraction of materials, production of propellants, and power generation from extraterrestrial resources for more affordable and flexible transportation, facilities construction, energy production, manufacturing of parts, and life support. The broad topic of space resources brings together many fields in which Mines has a strong presence, including remote sensing, geomechanics, mining, materials/metallurgy, robotics/automation, advanced manufacturing and construction, electrochemistry, solar and nuclear energy, and resource economics.

In this light, Mines launched a first-of-its-kind multi-disciplinary graduate program in Space Resources in 2017 to offer Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Master of Science, and Ph.D. degrees for college graduates and professionals interested in this emerging arena. The program focuses on developing core knowledge and gaining design practices in systems for responsible exploration, extraction, and use of resources in the Solar System.

The program currently has students participating from 5 continents, 20 countries, and with a variety of professional backgrounds, including aerospace, mechanical, chemical, electrical, software, materials, petroleum, and mining engineering; physics, chemistry, geology, and geophysics; from space agencies, the public sector, and economists, financial and policy analysts, lawyers, and entrepreneurs.


Why Choose Space Resources at Mines?

  • Join the first program in the world focused on educating scientists, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers in the developing field of space resources
  • Take advantage of Mines’ world-renowned expertise on terrestrial resources and energy systems and apply it beyond our planet
  • Become a part of Mines long history of involvement in space resources studies and gain access to its unique facilities
  • Learn the current scientific, technical, economic, policy, and legal aspects of this field from a multidisciplinary group of experts in academia, space agencies, and the private sector
  • Gain design practice in In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) systems for exploration, mining, extraction, processing, manufacturing, construction, and stewardship of space and planetary resources
  • Earn a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Master of Science (non-thesis), or Ph.D. degree (all available fully online from anywhere in the world)


Mines wins award at NASA Break the Ice Lunar Challenge

Students from the Space Resources Graduate program at Mines won second place and $75,000 for their proposed Lunar Ice Digging System, or LIDS at the NASA Break the Ice Lunar Challenge. LIDS would include three rovers – excavator, regolith hauler, and water hauler, as...

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Mines selected to Moon to Mars X-Hab 2022 Challenge

A team of Mines Space Resources graduate students was selected to develop innovative design ideas that will help NASA advance and execute its Moon to Mars exploration objectives. The selection is part of the 2022 Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation (M2M...

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