Credit: Space Resources Program/CSM


The Colorado School of Mines is establishing a multi-disciplinary graduate program in space resources.

“We have launched a new, first-of-its-kind program at Mines on Space Resources,” said Angel Abbud-Madrid, Director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

Credit: Space Resources Program/CSM

The proposed program will focus on developing core knowledge and gaining design practices in systems for responsible exploration, extraction, and use of resources in the Solar System.

“The program will be fully implemented next year, but we are already offering classes this coming semester,” Abbud-Madrid told Inside Outer Space.

Leading institution

Since the 1990s, the School of Mines in Golden, Colorado 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 space resources.

Space cowboys? International lawyers are trying to agree on what legislation will be needed to control the exploration of mineral resources in space to avoid a new ‘Wild West’.
Credit: James Vaughan

Abbud-Madrid notes that in recent years, growing interest in ISRU by space agencies and the private sector has been driven by an awareness that further development of space travel will be enabled through extraction of materials and production of propellants in space for more affordable and flexible transportation, facilities construction, and life support.

Business plan for asteroid mining.
Credit: Joel Sercel/ICS Associates Inc. and TransAstra

Many fields

The broad topic of space resources brings together many fields, Abbud-Madrid adds, in which Mines has a strong presence, including remote sensing, geomechanics, mining, materials/metallurgy, robotics/automation, advanced manufacturing, electrochemistry, solar and nuclear energy, and resource economics.

In anticipation of the new space resources program, this Fall 2017 the School of Mines will start offering a course entitled Space Resources Fundamentals (with synchronous distance-learning options available).

This activity will be followed in the Spring by a space systems engineering course, a design project class, and a seminar series – all with a space resources focus.


For detailed information on this multi-disciplinary graduate program in space resources, go to:

Also, go to the website for the Center for Space Resources (CSR), a research and technology development center at the School of Mines dedicated to the human and robotic exploration of space and the utilization of its resources:

For an informative TEDxMileHigh talk on how to live off the land in space by Angel Abbud-Madrid, go to:


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