Questions tagged [mining]

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

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46 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 molten oxide electrolysis. Assuming that solar energy is used in a lunar setting, what would require more power for a modest ...
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120 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 ...
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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 ...
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33 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 ...
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47 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 ...
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73 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, ...
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84 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 ...
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135 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 ...
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152 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
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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 ...
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122 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,...
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178 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.
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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 ...
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122 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 ...
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148 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 ...
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105 views

Would mass drivers be able to transport base material on the moon more efficiently than drones?

I am a hobbyist working on a climate change adaptation idea that is a variation of orbital sun shades. It would project soil/material from the moon to provide targeted shading for whatever part of ...
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61 views

SpaceX Dragon Maximum Return Payload

For one of my university courses, we were asked to assess the viability of an asteroid exploitation mission. Assuming that we can somehow mine and refine the material (platinum in this case), we still ...
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1answer
49 views

Could a Gravity Tractor be used for mining asteroids?

Recently, I came across the concept of the Gravity Tractor for the first time. And I was intrigued. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_tractor A Gravity Teather, as I understand it, is a concept ...
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52 views

Can we use magnetic devices to anchor to asteroids?

One of the challenges about missions to asteroids is staying attached to them when you land. Many asteroids are described as nickel/iron, and we know that both nickel and iron have magnetic ...
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94 views

How long does it take to refresh helium-3 on the moon?

I was reading a science-fiction novel, Limit, by Frank Shätzing. It depicts a near-future with useful helium-3 fusion, and the Americans and Chinese are bumping elbows mining helium-3 on the moon, ...
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82 views

What will TransAstra Corp's MiniBee practice its Optical Mining technique on?

Space.com's NASA Eyes Wild Space Tech Ideas to Mine the Moon (and Asteroids, Too!) says: The other project is called Mini Bee and is led by Joel Sercel, founder and CEO of TransAstra Corp. Mini Bee ...
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491 views

Is making gold mining in Mars profitable truly unlikely?

I was reading about Elon Musk believing space mining being unprofitable due to mining and transportation costs. Now I dont know about mining costs , but if Elon Musk says a person could go to Mars for ...
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120 views

Has the possibility of the return of organisms along with mined asteroid products to Earth been considered or discussed [closed]

Is it possible that mining on asteroids could bring life back to Earth such as bacteria?
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185 views

How many companies do specialize currently in (research of) asteroid mining?

After two major players aiming at asteroid mining (not just the Moon) were bought up and repurposed, who still does follow this topic as primary business model? Deep Space Industries was bought by ...
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When were the presence of specific elements on asteroids first identified?

Is there an approximation on when scientists first found out about certain elements on asteroids? What about gold in particular?
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225 views

What kinds of instruments do you need to detect whether liquid water/ice is on a planet?

Somewhat of a two-part question. Firstly I'm interested to know if it is expected that a planet/asteroid has water/ice on it, what kinds of scientific instruments you need to identify the presence and ...
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are there public ideas/concepts for space mining machines?

If a company were to send a rocket into space they would need some kind of mining machine on board to mine on, for example, an asteroid. I was wondering if a company already has a good idea for a ...
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101 views

Inspect an asteroid before mining?

If I were to send a mining machine in, for example, a Falcon Heavy, I would first have to inspect the asteroid before I could start mining, so I would really have to send 2 rockets. First to inspect ...
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122 views

Where is the “almost certain” water in these spectra from Chandrayaan 1's Moon Mineralogy Mapper?

The New York Times article Ice on the Surface of the Moon? Almost Certainly, New Research Shows talks about the recent paper published in PNAS Direct evidence of surface exposed water ice in the lunar ...
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192 views

3D metal printer in microgravity possible?

After reading on regarding in situ manufacturing in space, I've found out there is already a 3D printer for plastic on ISS, and the company behind it works on a space craft to manufacture larger (...
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Maturity of in-situ steel production conceptualization?

While MOXIE (Mars OXygen In situ resource utilization Experiment) looks like to be tested in an upcoming mission in real condition, do we know how would we produce steel in-situ (in terms of ...
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68 views

Practical rate (e.g. kg/day) that carbon could be harvested from CO2 in the Martian atmosphere and climate?

There is frequent discussion of using CO2 in the Martian atmosphere to synthesize carbon-containing compounds. One example is methane for propulsion, another: Can materials be found to make plastic ...
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73 views

Is abundance of chemical elements in the asteroid belt / solar system real through higher concentrations?

Given humanity would be once able to access any minerals in the asteroid belt and moons of planets, would be there some chemical elements (if stable isotopes exist) still considered as rare?
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354 views

Most attractive resource on the Moon

What is the most attractive resource available to be extracted on the Moon? By the most attractive I mean the most useful considering the location in which it's extracted and including all the ...
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442 views

What Platinum minerals are expected to be found in Asteroids?

High quantities and values have been claimed for the Platinum and other high value metals in Asteroids - prompting (or perhaps in order to prompt) interest in mining them. Is this high value metal ...
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151 views

Is there a method of finding chemical composition of asteroids?

Any equations or research paper would be helpful.
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443 views

Was SpaceX's venture into the asteroid belt a “convenient accident” on purpose?

There is gold in the asteroids, or iridium. links: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25716103 https://globalnews.ca/news/3175097/nasa-plans-mission-to-a-metal-rich-asteroid-worth-...
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300 views

Most useless artificial Earth satellite [closed]

What if some future Falcon Heavy's launch put a regular boulder in orbit around Earth (as a secondary payload)? Well, not arbitrary one that lies by the edge of the road, rather something resembling ...
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169 views

Why are low-albedo asteroids thought to be more water-rich?

In this talk, J. L. Galache mentions that asteroid miners are looking for NEAs with: low delta-v (so the asteroid is easy to get to/from from Earth) low synodic period (for frequent launch/return-...
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673 views

What's the scientific evidence of water for return trip methalox on Mars?

EDIT: I am not asking if you think finding water is necessary for a return flight. I'm asking for the scientific evidence that there is mineable water on Mars that could be used for this purpose. ...
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550 views

If the Moon were solid gold, how far away would it have to be to not be economical to mine it?

Space is pretty expensive to get to, and there's a shocking lack of things in it. A planet made of gold sounds like a treasure worth the trip! How far would such a thing have to be away from Earth in ...
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878 views

Mining of Uranus or Neptune

Some studies show that there are big 'seas' of diamonds on Uranus and Neptune, there may be loads of it. I was thinking, wouldn't it be a great business opportunity to go to Uranus or Neptune (maybe ...
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145 views

Chemical resources on the moon in relation to human occupation

Suppose large settlements are established on the moon with lots of people and industrial activity. Based on what we know, what chemicals that are needed for human life and industry might be lacking? ...
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568 views

Is Mars iron too oxidized to pick up with a magnet?

How much iron would a magnet pick up on the surface of Mars? Would it be rich in iron particles like going to a playground on earth? Would it be clean enough to take to a refinery and melt down, or ...
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118 views

Is this an efficient way to turn bulk minerals in space into kinetic weapons?

The sheer speed of an object at orbital velocity (8 km/s) is like the kinetic energy of 7.5 kg of TNT for every kg of mass. At the speed of an object falling from near the Moon, it's like 14.5 kg of ...
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1k views

How to get processed asteroid metals back to Earth in a safe manner

How would you get precious metals (like platinum, lithium, uranium, etc) from an asteroid safely back to Earth? First, assume we don't need the metals in space for in-space manufacturing. Second, ...
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696 views

Would it be more viable to process moon rocks into Helium-3 on the Moon than doing so on Earth?

Helium-3 is a substance that is very useful for nuclear fusion, which can generate a lot of power. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of it on Earth, but on the Moon it can be processed from basic moon ...
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Mining a near-Earth passing asteroid with profit?

The answer by PearsonArtPhoto in this question got me thinking, particularly this line: Asteroids would be cheaper to go to than the Moon I suppose the subject here are asteroids that pass in the ...
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Is space mining and development as shown in the television show “The Expanse” realistic?

In the television show "The Expanse", we see the Solar System having been partially colonized and developed during the 23rd century. The spacecraft in the show appear to depend on conventional ...
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How will asteroid mining projects get the heavy material back to Earth? [duplicate]

I understand that the asteroid mining proposals are looking to mine platinum, paladium, and other rare-earth metals that have a high economic value. What are the proposals for getting the mined ...