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While US and EU governments seem now to give official support for Moon mining, I wonder whether if we would mine away from the Moon same quantity we have mined on the Earth so far, would that introduce cosmological risk to Earth's conditions?

  • mass of the Moon: 7.34767309 × 1022 kg
  • mined mass on the Earth so far to set a scale to what mass the humanity has been able to move around so far: could be 30 trillion tonnes an upper limit?
  • Moon mass extraction from where Earth's orbit either tidal forces would significantly change introducing terrestrial environmental risks: the answer to this question

In simpler words: would be there a problem with orbit dynamics/tidal forces if humanity mines 30 trillion tonnes off the Moon? (Maybe, using self-replicating robotic mining complexes it could happen in decades or in a century).

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    $\begingroup$ I mean risks to Earth conditions, this is still very general but I think in a thought experiment mining the Moon completely away would be a problem. Now is there a lower limit where problems would start? would mining .001 percent of Moon mass introduce a risk to Earth? $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Apr 29 '20 at 8:38
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    $\begingroup$ J.Doe - suggest also constraining the question to orbital dynamics and possibly explicitly say the mass goes 'away'. Mining the moon and putting it on earth buries the surface pretty deep, mining the moon and using just the 'good stuff' on earth causes all sorts of waste problems. Moving the mass of the moon in human time scales involves more energy release than we can afford to have near earth. All of these give different results that I do not think answer your question and risk close votes $\endgroup$ – GremlinWranger Apr 29 '20 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ 30 trillion tonnes, that is 3x10^16 kg. Compared to 7.34x10^22 kg it is only 0.4 parts per million. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Apr 29 '20 at 9:52
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is a perfectly reasonable question within Space Exploration SE. $\endgroup$ – Star Man Apr 29 '20 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ I think this question has merit. I'm skeptical of the 30 trillion tonnes mined on Earth & what has been included in that number. One thing to remember, not everything that is mined is useful. To mine ore, some waste needs to be mined. The waste will not leave the Moon. Also, it is unlikely the minerals in the ore, as mined, will leave the Moon. They will either be concentrated or the metal extracted from them & that will leave the Moon. It won't be a case of dig stuff up & send it all off the Moon. Generally open pit mines extract more waste than ore. $\endgroup$ – Fred Apr 30 '20 at 0:53

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