Questions tagged [mining]

Questions about the extraction of materials from other planets or asteroids.

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How much is the estimated amount of ilmenite present on Lunar surface?

I wanted to gauge estimated amount of ilmenite that can be extracted from Lunar regolith. From that, ultimately I want to derive the amount of oxygen that can be extracted out of it. Any estimate or ...
Prayag's user avatar
  • 117
3 votes
1 answer
134 views

The reason for using TiN on the perserverance's drill

Why did NASA use TiN coating for Perseverance's drill instead of coatings like TiAlN, AlTiN, TiAlCrN? I'm aware of the point of the TiN coating in terms of contamination, but it's a broad topic. ...
Mikołaj's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
144 views

Could mirrors used in a Dyson Swarm be made from asteroids in the inner asteroid belt?

In this video from Kurzgesagt they said that one would need to disassemble a whole planet to build a Dyson swarm around the sun. The video went on about mining Mercury and using the materials ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
141 views

What is the prevalence of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the asteroid belt and in comets?

As someone with a light background in controlled-environment agriculture, I'm familiar with the importance and use of N/P/K in growing useful plants. This got me thinking about how common these ...
Michael Bonnet's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
37 views

Will Ataxite be the type of nickel-iron sought for asteroid mining?

The high value metals in meteorites and asteroids - mostly Platinum Group Metals - appear associated with the nickel content (The Occurrence of Platinum in Meteorites, F. G. Hawley,1939), ie the ...
Ken Fabian's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
169 views

What could we produce with a space based industry?

The astroid belt is great place to start humanity’s journey through space. I want to know, what materials and items could be produced from asteroids. I’m mainly going to ask for useful items, such ...
11111's user avatar
  • 181
2 votes
1 answer
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How could we extract xenon from asteroids and comets?

Xenon is a propellant for next which is a very good thruster. VASIMIR, which uses much more abundant hydrogen is under development and may not ready by the time we run out of resources. So, how ...
11111's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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A Philae Lander (like) anchoring harpoons on M-Type (metallic) asteroid. Can a nail gun and the effect of Cold Welding be a working solution?

Everyone knows what happened to Philae lander (Rosetta mission). It is hard to predict the reliability of anchoring points before we know surface conditions on the asteroid. On the other hand, it is ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to maintain balance and center of gravity when pushing a 100-ton piece of asteroid?

I understand that rotating momentum around a fixed axis can help with the center of balance. But is it enough? In my case, a space tug has to burn its engine for 1 min, accelerate a 100-ton piece of ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
145 views

What would be the most fuel-efficient propulsion solution to accelerate a 100-ton piece of NEO asteroid towards Earth?

We need acceleration to about 300-500 m/s relative to an NEO asteroid - to get to an LEO. What is needed is the lightest package possible, that includes engine, fuel tanks, control module and ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
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1 kiloton nuclear device to clear up debris and dust to expose the iron-nickel core for open-pit mining (on M-Type asteroids)?

My understanding is that initial acceleration from the blast and following solar wind will clear the area around the asteroid for spacecraft navigation (in reasonable time). A 2-3 kilometer M-type ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
221 views

Can Nuclear Pulse Propulsion (Project Orion) accelerate a 100,000 ton M-type (metallic) asteroid to a LEO? [closed]

Project Orion: specific impulse in the range of 6,000 seconds. For example – Starship Interplanetary (SpaceX): Max Fuel (after refueling at orbit) - 1,950 ton Fuel left after arriving at NEO asteroid –...
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1 vote
3 answers
365 views

Could we by ordinary mining activities, affect the Lunar orbit?

In The Time Machine (Guy Pearce version), they manage to literally break up the Earth's moon with obviously disastrous results and I believe they were just building underground structures. I am ...
releseabe's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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How realistic are the required fluorine mining quantities for terraforming Mars compared to the real mining practices on Earth?

Energy balance calculations in the JGR article Radiative-convective model of warming Mars with artificial greenhouse gases suggest that the addition of 0.2 Pa of the best greenhouse gases mixture (15%...
Cornelis's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there any evidence from previous missions to asteroids that said asteroids have minable minerals?

Claims about asteroid mining talk about how many resources are on each asteroid, with claims of "trillions of dollars" of raw materials. Ignoring the cost of getting to the asteroid, have ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
12 votes
10 answers
4k views

Is there an elegant method to stop an asteroid's spin?

There have been proposals to mine asteroids, perhaps after “tugging” them to a more accessible location. As well, proposals have been made to move asteroids which threaten collision with earth. ...
Woody's user avatar
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Would planetary quarantine have to be used for asteroid mining missions?

Currently, sample return missions have to follow very delicate procedures to move the sample to the return vehicle. This is incredibly complicated and may explain why so few missions have launched. ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
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10 votes
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How can we source potassium fluoride outside of Earth?

Potassium fluoride is the best known terrestrial option to purify the various materials used for the manufacturing of photovoltaic panels. Many of these materials can be found in regolith. The process ...
Ismael Ghalimi's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Using a reverse sling + compression sock to give an asteroid an initial boost - possible?

building my a related question, I have a hypothesis in question: Assuming that we can get a tug spacecraft near an asteroid worth mining, at appropriate but faster speeds can we use a slingshot with a ...
Artem Shamsutdinov's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
187 views

Could we use Mars as as an asteroid mining base?

After getting a lot of helpful feedback I've arrived at a question: What if we setup base on Mars: I) Mine water, and split it for propellant. II) Load up light weight (expandable?) rockets with it....
Artem Shamsutdinov's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
142 views

Cheaply capture asteroids for mining with momentum transfer via a chain of Earth + Moon elevators (and alike), is it possible?

I get that mining asteroids seems like a very expensive task. I understand that it's expensive to get to and from them and takes lots of propellant.  But I just thought of a a way to make it way ...
Artem Shamsutdinov's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
203 views

Sub Lunar Mining

What mineable Lunar mineral deposits are valuable enough to offset mission costs. I have read perhaps cobalt, titanium, lithium, helium and maybe obsidian?
Jesse 's user avatar
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Asteroid mining: will full asteroid prospecting require sending probes to each asteroid?

It is well known that many characteristics about an asteroid such as orbit, size, rotation and chemical composition can be obtained remotely thanks to passive techniques such as spectrophotometry, ...
Rexcirus's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Would a sufficiently deep cavern on Mars provide habitable temperature and atmospheric pressure? Was Dick Tracy wrong?

Would a sufficiently deep cavern on Mars provide habitable temperature and atmospheric pressure? Dick Tracy discovered minimally dressed Moon People living comfortably outdoors on the Moon. Their Far ...
Woody's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
337 views

How much equipment will be required to mine 600 tons of water ice on Mars?

Assuming that Starship needs to fully refuel on the Martian surface to return to Earth, that will require about 260 tons of methane->66 tons of hydrogen->600 tons of water, which you would need ...
Barry Jenakuns's user avatar
1 vote
7 answers
2k views

Are people actually serious about mining the Moon?

I see a lot of enthusiasm about the possibility of mining the Moon. But worryingly, I don't see much said about the potential horrific effects of this. I mean, guys: the Moon is actually pretty damn ...
White Prime's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
383 views

On what calculations is Robert Zubrin's assertion that Mars could be warmed by 10 ⁰ C in 50 years with fluorocarbon gases based?

In this answer to the question "What would the full hypothetical Mars terraforming roadmap look like ?" there's a link to the article "Zubrin on Terraforming Mars" in Universe ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
272 views

How can we mine Near Earth Objects?

After skimming this Worldbuilding SE answer, I wonder if any companies or space agencies have plans in place to mine Near Earth Objects(NEOs) in the future.
Kav's user avatar
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Likely ways to move asteroids

Asteroids for mining and to make habitats: what are likely ways to move them? Orion project nuclear explosions might be plausible, but would probably be expensive, use very heavy materials from Earth, ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
50 views

Can it be estimated when a first settlement near the equator would become more economical than one at the midlatitudes of Mars?

Choosing the right place on Mars for a settlement would be of course an important decision because once it's there it would take much time and money to move on to another, better location. Because the ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,545
2 votes
2 answers
152 views

Full lunar mineralization/ore map

This is really quick I'm searching for a full complete ore map of the moon, I found this: But, as you can see, is impossible read.
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
136 views

Deimos and Phobos minerals

I am searching for Deimos and Phobos mineral maps, which probably are the best candidates to find large amounts of He-3 or other valuable resources to send to Mars colonies in the future. I searched ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
239 views

What would be the required equipment for an astronaut to dig to the centre of Bennu?

Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona The image above is part of a close-up acquired by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft of Bennu's surface. 101955 Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid that is currently ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,545
4 votes
5 answers
600 views

Will mining water on Bennu for travelling to Mars not be more economical than mining it at the lunar south pole?

Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid that is currently accompanied by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft that will take samples from it to return to Earth. Its diameter is 490 m. and it is slightly denser than ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,545
2 votes
0 answers
223 views

Mining Venus' surface using lasers?

One of the issues with colonizing Venus is the harsh conditions at the surface. People have proposed using floating habitats in the upper atmosphere, where conditions are milder, and gathering ...
Pitto's user avatar
  • 1,246
2 votes
1 answer
158 views

Demonstrating molten oxide electrolysis on the Moon, what would require the most power, keeping it molten or driving the electrolysis?

It seems that oxygen may be extractable from oxides in lunar regolith using "some variant of the" molten oxide electrolysis. Assuming that solar energy is used in a lunar setting, what would ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
2 answers
343 views

How is it proposed to extract oxygen from lunar regolith?

Futurism's news item NASA Pumps Funding into Startup That Says It Can Harvest Oxygen From Lunar Regolith says: NASA just awarded substantial funding to Pioneer Astronautics, a company that claims it ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
0 answers
132 views

What are the challenges for delivering bulk asteroid commodities to Earth? [closed]

I think nickel-iron is an extraordinary and perhaps unique resource that is (by Earth market standards) valuable even as a raw and unprocessed commodity - perhaps several thousand US$ per ton for high ...
Ken Fabian's user avatar
  • 1,042
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Compact ISRU for manufactured goods?

Most studies of ISRU focus on propellants, life support supplies, concrete, or other "bulk" materials (liquids, gases, granules). This makes sense, given that the majority of a typical ...
ikrase's user avatar
  • 8,874
3 votes
0 answers
50 views

Are there substances that can effectively mined from asteroids that can be used for ion thrusters?

The most popular ion thruster design seems to use Xenon. Unfortunately, due to it's low boiling point Xenon isn't easily available in space. Are there other materials from which ion thrusters could ...
Christian's user avatar
  • 292
3 votes
0 answers
94 views

Atmospheric entry of asteroid mining products

This is a more general question than How to get processed asteroid metals back to Earth in a safe manner That question was actually a quick check to see if a particular idea was plausible. Instead, ...
Craeft's user avatar
  • 473
2 votes
0 answers
94 views

What are mass constraints to mine the moon causing significant changes to orbital dynamics either tidal forces?

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 ...
J. Doe's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Would capture of a uranium-rich asteroid open new possibilities?

It seems that energy production in space is a limiting factor. We can use photovoltaics, but they're of minimal value past Mars, and many interesting places (like the moon) have very long nights. The ...
Stephen Collings's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
622 views

What is the closest asteroid to Earth worth mining?

I found this list, but it doesn't say how close it is to the ground https://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/~lance/delta_v/delta_v.rendezvous.html
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Mining Helium-3 on the Moon and sending it to Earth?

It would be best to mine and process material on the moon to obtain helium-3, but my question is, what if we did an unmanned mission? A small robot 1 meter long, powered by solar energy, that takes ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
183 views

Resources on 129 Antigone

I am one of the cast members of an ongoing science-fiction podcast set in an asteroid settlement on 129 Antigone. The settlement is an O’Neill cylinder built from materials harvested from the asteroid,...
Barry Haworth's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
320 views

When the moon rock heats up to 600°C, does only Helium comes out?

When lunar rock is heated to 600 °C to extract Helium-3, are gases expelled other than helium? Inductance process would be used in heating the rock.
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

How can 3He be mined on the moon? [duplicate]

Now I know how it is detected, but what would the mining process be like? given that there is a lot on the moon but not concentrated, so you have to process large amounts of surface to extract a ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
550 views

How could the presence of 3He be detected on the lunar surface?

I have been investigating this isotope of helium for a while, which is extremely abundant on the moon (and in general in the entire solar system except on planets with atmosphere). It is believed that ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
468 views

Asteroid Mining on Ceres

I am an Architecture and Urbanism student. Currently I am working on designing a space habitat for mineral mining on Ceres. I have been reading about space mining techniques mostly on near Earth ...
Rati Choudhari's user avatar