Questions tagged [mining]

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

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3answers
139 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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1answer
182 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 ...
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1answer
119 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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1answer
169 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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1answer
116 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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1answer
122 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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1answer
101 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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60 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
47 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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47 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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1answer
85 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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79 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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448 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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1answer
117 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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1answer
182 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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63 views

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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1answer
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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45 views

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
94 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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1answer
119 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
189 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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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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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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1answer
345 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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437 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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130 views

Is there a method of finding chemical composition of asteroids?

Any equations or research paper would be helpful.
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438 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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2answers
292 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
159 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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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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2answers
540 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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5answers
827 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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1answer
141 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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4answers
551 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
114 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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4answers
670 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
269 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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1answer
6k views

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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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 ...
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1answer
898 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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113 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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298 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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1k 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 ...