In-Situ Resources Utilisation (ISRU) represents one of the most interesting steps for enabling human long term missions and an attractive technical and commercial challenge for current space exploration community. Moreover, Moon is rich of several materials among which Iron, Nickel, Gold, and Platinum group metals from impacted meteorites, Aluminium, Titanium, Silicium, Oxygen, Helium3 and other volatiles, Iced-Water (?), etc.
Significant experience in ISRU activities have been gained by CGS and Politecnico di Milano (both part of Team Italia) in the frame of European Space Agency (ESA) projects.
A breadboard of the selected process has been already implemented, with demonstration of water production from regolith simulant (see figure). A key milestone in the space exploration roadmap would be the construction of an oxygen production plant on the Moon and this is feasible, as presented by CGS and Politecnico di Milano at the recent Global Exploration (GLEX) Conference in Washington, with the paper "FEASIBILITY DEMONSTRATION OF OXYGEN PRODUCTION ON THE MOON BY MEANS OF CARBOTHERMAL REDUCTION WITH METHANE PROCESS IN SOLID-GAS PHASE".
The paper is available in the GLEX Conference proceedings (http://glex2012.org/).