Questions tagged [mining]

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

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1answer
66 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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31 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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229 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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109 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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151 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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211 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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2answers
86 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 ...
5
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1answer
109 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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1answer
134 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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37 views

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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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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53 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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284 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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372 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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93 views

Is there a method of finding chemical composition of asteroids?

Any equations or research paper would be helpful.
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427 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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263 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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1answer
120 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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572 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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528 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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685 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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127 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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483 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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1answer
109 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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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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559 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 ...
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1answer
247 views

If a high-temperature melt of lunar soil cooled slowly, what layers might appear?

Suppose mare regolith is heated to 2400 K, then left to cool slowly in a tank. Samples of powder regolith from the mare are about half glasses and half crystals of composition as shown below. Would ...
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How much iron is on the surface of Mars?

It's (relatively) common knowledge that Mars is known as the "Red Planet" because of an abundance of iron oxide, AKA rust, on its surface. At first glance, that looks like "iron, iron, everywhere." ...
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How is it known that asteroid 2011 UW158 has so much platinum?

Today an asteroid, 2011 UW158, is passing within 2.4 million km of Earth. There are a lot of reports of this asteroid containing $5.4 trillion of platinum in its core. People seem to want to mine it, ...
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843 views

Terraforming Venus with the Bosch reaction, using hydrogen from Jupiter [closed]

OK, so chemistry and physics are not my strong suit, so this idea is just cobbled together from stuff I've heard can be done. But I'd be curious if it is at all plausible, and what the most likely ...
8
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1answer
851 views

How much do we know about minerals and raw materials that are in our solar system?

Based on satellite and robots research, is there an overview/inventory of mineral resources that has been discovered till now on the planets, moons, asteroids and comets of our solar system (e.g. list,...
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109 views

Could a planet, moon, or comet having a high concentration of a certain metal disrupt radio transmission?

I have been researching how metals affect radio transmission but have not found anything conclusive to the specific scope about planet density if it is mostly metal. One of the posts that I found ...
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256 views

Are there any techniques of heat shielding an irregularly shaped object?

NASA is planning to bring an asteroid into a lunar orbit. As I understand, it's a tremendous task, even when using high specific impulse ion drives. It seems nearly impossible to safely land one on ...
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926 views

Would a 'space elevator'/sling on a rotating asteroid work?

It is possible to find numerous studies of space elevators, for Earth, Luna, Mars and even Phobos. But would a 'space elevator' work on an asteroid? I use scare quotes because typically the point of a ...
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How feasible is it to use aluminum and liquid oxygen as future propellant sourced from the moon?

I was looking into whether there would be any way to source propellants from the moon itself in support of a future base and space stations in cis-lunar space. I found two documents exploring how ...
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290 views

Is it feasible to put a comet into a Lagrangian point?

How feasible would it be to put a large comet, like the one that Philae landed on, into a Lagrangian point, or some other spot that would make it convenient & SAFE for mining, colonization, ...
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4k views

Legality of asteroid mining

Exploiting the moon's resources is covered by "The Moon Treaty". Is there something similar or in the works for regulating mining asteroids and other non-lunar bodies?
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What about gathering water ice from Saturn's rings?

Saturn's rings are almost pure water ice in nice manageable chunks from specks to boulders a few meters across. Assuming there is something truly useful to do with it - once again talking about ...
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How much meteorite material hits the moon and could it be useful?

Does the material that hits the moon all vaporize and disperse so much it doesn't lead to enriched deposit areas, or could it sometimes be useful? I'm thinking in particular of a permanent moon base, ...
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498 views

Can one put a large nickel-iron asteroid into an elliptical solar orbit that results in a soft(ish) earth landing?

My daughter and I are debating whether it is technically feasible to bring a nickel iron asteroid to the surface or the earth non-destructively. I felt it was impossible. Her thought was that with a ...
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678 views

Could lunar mining be used to service Low Earth Orbit?

What would be the major hurdles of setting up an autonomous mining operation on the Moon to shoot lunar rock to something like the ISS? I would think it would be a much easier way to get radiation ...
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What lunar legalities are currently in place?

I'm curious what treaties, if any, are in place as far as restricting military, engineering, or scientific applications on the lunar surface. e.g. Assuming someone definitively discovers there's ...
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1k views

Mining and the transportation of resources

With the recent bootstrapping of so many space centric companies, it's starting to look like our economy will extend beyond the bounds of Earth sooner rather than later. Assuming that mining ...
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Feasibility of colonising Ceres?

Ceres is a dwarf planet in the midst of the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter - its location in the Asteroid Belt makes it a good base to mine the riches believed to exist in the asteroids. ...
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249 views

Would gold in space tend to collect in pockets like it does on Earth?

I was reading Does gold come from outer space?(BBC News). If the majority of gold on Earths surface does come from space would it tend to be equally distributed on comets and asteroids, or would tend ...