36 votes

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

There are multiple problems with this idea. The first and most obvious problem is that the sealed container which has a perfect vacuum inside (seller claims so at least) is not of much use until you ...
  • 1,811
20 votes
Accepted

Is there enough iron on the Moon to support industry?

Yes, oxides of typical engineering metals, such as iron, aluminum, magnesium, titanium and silicon (as a semiconductor and important alloy material) are abundant on the lunar surface. It is unknown ...
20 votes
Accepted

How is it known that asteroid 2011 UW158 has so much platinum?

With all the hype in the news this was surprisingly hard to research for specifically 2011 UW158. I never did find a source for the claim on the value, though the Slooh Community Observatory put the ...
  • 7,116
17 votes

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

According to WP, at the upper end of Earth thermosphere -- that's LEO, somewhere above the orbit of ISS -- the pressure goes to around $1 \times 10^{-7}$ Pa. This level of vacuum is regularly ...
14 votes
Accepted

moon structure ownership

There are two schools of thought discussed in Asteroid Mining: International and Legal Aspects by Frans G. von der Dunk: Perspective 1: The US and countries like Luxembourg believe that any resources ...
13 votes
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What useful materials can be extracted from Venusian atmosphere?

This is a rather broad question, so I'll mostly try to point you in the right direction than directly answer it; First, Venusian atmosphere is highly dynamic and diverse environment both in ...
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11 votes

How is it known that asteroid 2011 UW158 has so much platinum?

Sorry to spoil everyone’s excitement, but one claim, credited to Mining.com, that the kilometer-wide asteroid might contain “up to 90 million metric tons of platinum and other precious metals” is ...
10 votes
Accepted

Are there relevant resources on the Moon for civil engineering?

Paul Spudis notes the moon has lots of aggregate. Lunar regolith is shattered bedrock with granules of all different sizes. Spudis suggests "Instead of water-set lime-based cement, we can use glass ...
  • 15.2k
10 votes
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Copper abundance in the Moon

I'd advise strong caution as to drawing conclusions as to what there is and isn't on the Moon, as all we know comes from a few trunk-loads of rocks, satellite imagery, and theory, which in planetary ...
  • 20.9k
10 votes
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Are there hydrocarbons on the Moon?

I think the poster was mistaken about hydrocarbons being on The Moon. We know some planets (like Mars) and moons (like Titan) have them, but not Earth's. The Moon does have water, however. What ...
  • 6,992
10 votes
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How could the presence of 3He be detected on the lunar surface?

NASA [1] indicates that helium-3 can be assessed indirectly by measuring the presence of titanium dioxide and soil characteristics ("maturity"), the correlation having been derived from the study of ...
  • 7,870
8 votes

What useful materials can be extracted from Venusian atmosphere?

Old topic, but for those just showing up: There are two leading candidates for the "unknown UV absorber" in Venus's atmosphere, and probably the most likely answer is some degree of both. ...
  • 243
8 votes
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How might water floating in space be 'mined'?

The short answer to the actual question asked: you might do it electrostatically, but it would require huge amounts of power. The extended short answer: the water, though a nearly incredible mass of ...
7 votes

How deep could a lunar mine go?

I came here with the same question. While rock pressure is one issue, I think the limiting factor is actually heat. The most recent paper I could find on Lunar temperature gradients is Nimmo 2012, ...
7 votes
Accepted

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

Reflection spectroscopy in visible and IR wavelengths (using sunlight reflected from asteroids and collected by ground- and space-based instruments) allows for chemical and mineralogical ...
6 votes
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Manufacturing solar cells on the Moon

Perovskites may prevent the need for such complex manufacturing facilities. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/glenn/2019/building-solar-panels-in-space-might-be-as-easy-as-clicking-print Perovskites are ...
  • 794
6 votes
Accepted

Why is the LROC lunar data not showing farside of the moon?

You have to select the correct projection to see the far side of the Moon: It is the top tab in the side bar.
5 votes

Manufacturing solar cells on the Moon

There are parts that would be easy, and parts that would be quite difficult. Here is a video that shows you how solar cells are made on Earth. Here's a few things ...
  • 119k
5 votes
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How could you create water and air from materials in the Solar System?

Water- Can be obtained from pretty much any non-gas giant object beyond the middle of the asteroid belt. This includes comets, moons of outer solar system planets, even objects like Pluto, etc. ...
  • 119k
5 votes

How much iron is on the surface of Mars?

Martian meteorites suggest that the Martian crust has about twice as much iron as the Earth's crust. Of course Mars is smaller than Earth, but most of Earth is covered in water. As a result, Mars has ...
  • 1,614
5 votes

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

YES and NO The Yes part Many meteors have been traced back to their parent bodies. We have done very detailed analysis of both mineral and elemental composition. By comparing the spectrum of the ...
  • 229
5 votes
Accepted

Full lunar mineralization/ore map

Here's the labelled version you found of the USGS map large enough to read the text For completion's sake, here's a mirror, limited by the 2MB upload size of SE, so it's only barely readable. The link ...
4 votes

Manufacturing solar cells on the Moon

Lunar Reources Inc. proposes to manufacture solar panels in situ by electrolyzing the lunar regolith to seperate the various components (metals, silicon, oxygen, etc.) and vacuum-depositing material ...
  • 101
4 votes
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Chemical resources on the moon in relation to human occupation

The Moon is depleted of carbon, and what little carbon there is is in form of nonorganic compounds. Except for CO2 (which is nonorganic), life likes to work with organic compounds as opposed to ...
  • 65.9k
4 votes

How deep could a lunar mine go?

If we just look at rough numbers, we know the gravity on the Moon is ⅙th that of Earth so a mine shaft should go to a depth six times as deep as on Earth. So if the deepest shaft on Earth is just ...
4 votes

How might water floating in space be 'mined'?

That reservoir? Mere 12 billion light years away. So even traveling at speed of light - taking space expansion into account, you'd have some 30 billion years of round-trip. It's a curious discovery ...
  • 52.9k
3 votes

Do (Or can) satellites help renewable energy companies?

Earth observation from space is crucial in many ways for renewable energy companies. Earth observation is crucial for weather forecasts. Most forms of renewable energy are weather-dependent: Solar ...
  • 11.2k
3 votes

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

There are some lunar phenomena that suggest volatile deposits beneath the lunar crust. Spudis believes LTPs might be from outgassing of such deposits. If such outgassings do occur, most of would ...
  • 15.2k
3 votes

Is there enough iron on the Moon to support industry?

Based on the information on the following websites, my answer would be 'enticingly potential': http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/73247/Global-distribution-of-iron-on-the-Moons-surface-based-...
  • 11.1k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible