Questions tagged [mining]

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

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8
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2answers
207 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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2answers
107 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.
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2answers
139 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?
6
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1answer
229 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.
6
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1answer
145 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
346 views

Is there a method for finding the chemical composition of asteroids?

Any equations or research paper would be helpful.
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2answers
658 views

How deep could a lunar mine go?

Mine shafts on earth are limited in how deep they can go by 2 things, internal heat and rock pressure. The deepest mine on earth currently is just under 4 kilometers. There is internal heat on the ...
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6answers
1k views

Would gold mining on Mars be truly profitable?

I was reading about Elon Musk believing space mining being unprofitable due to mining and transportation costs. Now I don't know about mining costs, but if Elon Musk says a person could go to Mars for ...
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6answers
477 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 ...
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2answers
140 views

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, ...
8
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1answer
420 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 ...
5
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1answer
203 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 ...
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3answers
315 views

Will mining water on Bennu not be more economical than collecting 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 ...
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1answer
121 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 Tractor, as I understand it, is a concept ...
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32 views

feasible alternative for a gravity tractor [duplicate]

Mining asteroids would be an herculean task without the right equipment. I came across the concept of a gravity tractor recently, which is quite an ambitious idea itself. How feasible is this ...
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4answers
5k views

How feasible is it to harvest isotopes of Helium or Hydrogen from the gas giants?

The gas giants in our solar system have abundant quantities of Helium and Hydrogen. Is it possible to harvest these resources there? Does NASA have any plans to build some permanent base in space for ...
7
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6answers
886 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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47 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 ...
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0answers
89 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 ...
3
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1answer
220 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 ...
2
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1answer
101 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 ...
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2answers
177 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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104 views

On what target will TransAstra Corp's MiniBee practice its Optical Mining technique?

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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0answers
140 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 ...
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0answers
109 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 ...
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1answer
40 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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0answers
49 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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83 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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0answers
90 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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3answers
730 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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3answers
284 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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5answers
3k views

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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1answer
246 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 ...
14
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
230 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
135 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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0answers
68 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 ...
2
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1answer
199 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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0answers
79 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
493 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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2answers
2k 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, ...
4
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1answer
160 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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5answers
1k 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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4answers
776 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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1answer
121 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
202 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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1answer
253 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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0answers
52 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 ...
4
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2answers
357 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 ...