ALPHA (also known as ALCHEMIST Phase A/B1) is a payload development of a commercial lunar In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) demonstration mission of the European Space Agency ESA.
The mission shall focus on closing strategic knowledge gaps for ISRU processes, complementing the characterisation step made by the ESA PROSPECT payload accommodated on the Russian-led Luna Resource mission planned for launch in 2022. The goal of the ISRU mission is to produce water or breathable oxygen on the Moon before 2025. To enable this mission it is envisioned to procure the full implementation of the mission as a commercial service, including mission integration, lunar communication, transportation and operations services.
In a consortium led by Space Applications Services, TUM supports the payload development with the selection of instrumentation for the feedstock characterisation and general expertise regarding ISRU processes and thermal engineering.