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4

Yes, people are serious about mining the moon. Here's a US government contract. (Currently inactive as it was issued and due in 2020.) But it constitutes a serious solicitation, and request for quotation. An excerpt from the summary: NASA/NSSC has a requirement for Purchase of Lunar Regolith and/or Rock Materials from Contractor. It has fun things in it ...


1

Motivation The moon is rich in a few important natural resources, namely:1 2 Stuff Context Amount Utility Challenges water data from orbiters indicate that the poles – particularly the South Pole – are rich in ice water. the water may have evolved on the moon naturally or deposited through bombardment by water-rich meteor strikes. 31,059 km2 of permanently ...


0

The common materials on the Moon(as well as asteroids, but most of the good ones are much further away and not practical momentarily) are very useful to humans and are far more accessible on the Moon than on Earth(most of Earth's stuff is in its mantle or core). Mining these materials on Earth's crust causes huge pollution that WILL kill in a matter of ...


3

It really comes down to the plans of future space explorers and what resources would be available on the Moon and how beneficial they could be. Currently there are a lot of maybes. The Moon has water resources (as ice), it also has helium 3 and titanium. We don't know if any of them are present in economic quantities or how easy of difficult it would be to ...


11

the Moon is actually pretty damn small The Moon is actually pretty damn enormous. The mass of the Moon is about $7.34 \times 10^{22}$ kilograms. As a point of comparison, all the copper ever mined on Earth comes to 700 million tons - that is, $7 \times 10^{11}$ kilograms, or $\frac 1 {100000000000}$ of the total mass of the moon. Removing that much mass won'...


8

I'll start with what COSPAR wrote in 1964, emphasis mine: COSPAR "accepts, as tentatively recommended interim objectives, a sterilization level such that the probability of a single viable organism aboard any spacecraft intended for planetary landing or atmospheric penetration would be less than $1\times10^{-4}$, and a probability limit for accidental ...


17

No, it is not possible to make it 100% sterile. Especially if you consider self-replication as only requirement to classify something as life (It's complicated. See obligatory xkcd reference) Few issues to consider: In addition to other answer, one would likely use chips and PCBs in your spacecraft. Those are usually manufactured outside Space agencies, and ...


26

Absolute 100% sterilization is impossible. There's always a tiny chance that some microbe lands on a component during manufacturing, gets entombed inside the packaging, and therefore is unreachable by sterilization. Getting such a microbe out to the environment would require breaking the spacecraft in a very peculiar way, without incinerating or damaging ...


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