Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Might a resource 'Gold Rush' on the Moon Trigger the Next Epic Space Race?

Posted in Science on 12th Feb, 2015 07:06 PM by AlexMuller

After the discovery of water on the moon, it’s now thought there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion tonnes of ice at the Moon’s south pole and another 600 million tonnes at the north pole. And one private firm, Shackleton Energy Company, says it aims to mine lunar water.

Why? To stock low-Earth orbit gas stations with Moon-made rocket fuel. Because of Earth’s gravity, it’s very expensive to drag fuel into orbit. At one-sixth the gravity of Earth, it’s much more economical to bring fuel up from the lunar surface. The firm says it would send water or ice to orbital depots in low-Earth orbit and once there, through electrolysis, convert it to liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen on demand.
"If you run the numbers it comes out as a 20-fold improvement on the ability to launch something from the Moon compared to from the Earth into low-Earth orbit," according to Shackleton CEO Dale Tietz.
That’s a big deal. But how realistic is Moon mining? Together with a few other key developments, it’s perhaps more likely than it seems, and could happen sooner than we realize. Sending human miners would be dangerous and expensive, but robots are getting cheaper and more autonomous. Though our best robots currently do little more than trundle around Mars snapping photos and running limited experiments, there is reason to believe they’ll be capable of far more in the near future.
Of course, launching anything to space is still incredibly expensive, and a mining operation would require big equipment. But if Elon Musk and SpaceX prove they can reuse rockets, as they are trying to do now, the cost to launch hardware into space will plummet, making a Moon mining operation less far fetched.
Further, the two efforts together, if successful, could provide a powerful catalyst for a new age of space exploration. Simply put: We’d have reduced the cost to launch from Earth, then powered by a ring of cheap lunar rocket fuel depots in orbit, we’d have reduced the cost to maneuver in orbit or go into deep space.
The two together would bring more players into the game, and with more players, more dollars and more innovation. Add mining outfits on near-Earth asteroids (e.g., Planetary Resources), and you start to see a space-based energy supply chain stretching out into the inner solar system.

Tags: moonspacefuelrocketspacecraftSpaceX

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-02-13
Space race and space colonisation will bring more questions of ownership - some rules are in place more rules and laws should follow
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-02-13
'Gold rush' is space can determine are fortune here on Earth! Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2018-05-21 16:28:10
    Anti-nuclear policies increased global carbon by more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:22:31
    Magic mushroom treatment improves emotional more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:18:57
    Antioxidant found to wind back the clock on blood more
    Posted in Software on 2018-05-21 16:14:32
    3 key artificial intelligence benefits for the future more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-20 11:05:43
    Cannabidiol significantly reduces seizures in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me