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Questions tagged [natural-resources]

Questions regarding resources available on another astronomical object.

2
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1answer
161 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 ...
8
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3answers
182 views

How might water floating in space be 'mined'?

I feel like this is a bit of a dumb question, but I've been reading some articles about the giant body of water scientists have found floating in space (e.g. Enormous water reservoir found in space is ...
3
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1answer
320 views

Copper abundance in the Moon

I have been searching many times for information regarding copper abundance in the Moon, but until now, I haven't found any that clearly expresses anything about its abundance. Would it be viable to ...
22
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1answer
316 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Could there be any use with importing vacuum from space to Earth?

Space exploration pessimists say that there's nothing to import from space to Earth. So why not begin with doing exactly that?! :-) It's commonly claimed that the vacuum of space is harder (emptier) ...
3
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1answer
116 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? ...
3
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1answer
151 views

How could you create water and air from materials in the Solar System?

If you don't have access to Earth(but still the moon) or the Sun, where could you obtain enough hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen to create enough water and an N2 and O2 atmosphere for, say a population ...
3
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3answers
211 views

Do (Or can) satellites help renewable energy companies? [closed]

Renewable energy, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, can sometimes be difficult to find optimal locations for. How are, or can, satellites be used to assist in finding the optimal locations for ...
12
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1answer
5k 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." ...
16
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5answers
5k views

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, ...
7
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2answers
3k views

What useful materials can be extracted from Venusian atmosphere?

Consider a cloud-top colony on Venus. What materials needed for the upkeep and expanding of the colony can be taken from Venusian atmosphere, excluding any possibility of mining the surface?
8
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1answer
785 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,...
8
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1answer
461 views

Manufacturing solar cells on the Moon

How practical is it to manufacture solar cells on the Moon? I understand there is a lot of silica there, and in theory if we could robotically make and deploy solar cells on the Moon, then we would (...
6
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2answers
492 views

How much can be said about the bedrock of the Moon?

Volatiles in polar craters on the Moon are great, but so far apparently it is unclear how much is there. Though I still have a lot of reading to do, so far I haven't found any information about what ...
8
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1answer
260 views

Are there relevant resources on the Moon for civil engineering?

We can read about Moon exploitation and making bases on there for long-term colonies. But bringing materials to make buildings there does not makes economical sense, and a large spaceship may be a ...
18
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2answers
13k views

Is there enough iron on the Moon to support industry?

I wonder what is concentration of iron in Moon's soil and whether iron ore is available there. Is there enough iron for successful industry?
10
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3answers
650 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 ...
7
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1answer
327 views

Could customary law realistically be used to block commercial use of the moon's resources?

In the fictional 2003 book The Next Continent (p. 241-252), set in 2030, the Moon Treaty is used in the UN International Court of Justice to put a commercial project at the south pole of the moon on ...
8
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3answers
808 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 ...
12
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4answers
2k 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. ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Can materials be found to make plastic on Mars?

Does Mars contain the materials required to make plastic? If not, can they relatively easily be made, or an adequate substitute found?
18
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4answers
6k views

Does Mercury have the necessary natural resources to sustain a human colony?

Given that deep craters on Mercury's polar regions could provide protection from the searing heat and radiation of the closer Sun, a colony on Mercury could be possible. For any colony to be ...
23
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1answer
3k views

Can I harvest diamonds from the rain of Saturn and Jupiter?

A recent news article on BBC News indicates that 1,000 tonnes of diamonds a year are being created on Saturn This is like science fact that screams it must be Science Fiction! Assuming the ...
16
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1answer
432 views

What are the resource implications of the prevalence of supervolcanoes on Mars?

According to the article "Supervolcanoes Rocked Early Mars" (Vergano, 2013), there is evidence that supervolcanic activity has occurred on the red planet. Also, it is believed some features ...
11
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1answer
828 views

Practical Lunar He-3 mining approach?

There is a lot of popular talk that There may be huge deposits of Helium-3 on the Moon, and It could be used for very efficient fusion reactors. Unfortunately in the bulk of popular talk actual ...
7
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1answer
868 views

What source of raw materials could be found in space for making plastics?

Plastics are made from organic solids, and recent studies indicate that pound for pound they are a better shield against galactic cosmic rays then some metals. If you are lifting mass to orbit or ...
-3
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1answer
406 views

How much total mass has humankind utilized to launch (successfully & unsuccessfully) all the worlds satellites, probes, and manned missions? [closed]

This question asks how much mass has been launched into Space. I would like to know how much mass was required to launch that mass into Space. What is the ratio between mass launched and the resources ...
12
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1answer
817 views

Is there an alternative to nuclear reactors for high-power spacecraft?

Many of my favorite ideas for space exploration, such as large outer solar system probes, or the Mars Direct human Mars exploration proposal, require nuclear reactors to supply the high-power ...
54
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3answers
4k views

What resources could be gained from asteroid mining that would be worth the effort?

Obviously asteroids are abundant in many of the raw materials we use today, but considering the (presumably) large expense involved in mining from asteroids it may not be worthwhile to mine some ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Does Mars contain materials that could be used to build a space colony?

If a manned mission to mars was made with the hope of colonization, we would probably need to make many of our structures there out of materials found there - they would probably be simply too heavy ...
21
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4answers
1k views

Could a spacecraft be made out of lunar materials?

Would it be possible to construct a working spacecraft using only materials extracted from the lunar surface? If not, what materials would we have to be ferried from Earth for this purpose?