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Should we mine the Moon?

RATE THIS! +22
Posted in Science on 2nd Dec, 2014 07:34 PM by AlexMuller

To date, all human economic activity has depended on the material and energy resources of a single planet; understandably, perhaps. It is conceivable though that future advances in space exploration could change this by opening our closed planetary economy to essentially unlimited external resources of energy and raw materials.

 
Look up at the Moon this evening, and you might be gazing at a solution. The Earth’s closest celestial neighbour seems likely to play a major role and already a number of private companies have been created to explore the possibilities.
 
It is important to stress that even now, 40 years after the Apollo missions, we still don’t have a complete picture of the Moon’s economic potential, and obtaining one will require a more rigorous programme of lunar exploration than has been undertaken to-date. In part, this is why proposed future lunar exploration missions (such as the recently announced Lunar Mission One) are so important.
 
Nevertheless, as a result of work over the past four decades, we do now know enough to make a first-order assessment of lunar resource potential. In doing so it is useful to distinguish between three possible future applications of such resources.
 
Digging deep
 
We have the option of using lunar materials to facilitate continued exploration, and future economic development, of the Moon itself. The concept is usually referred to as In Situ Resource Utilisation, or ISRU.
 
We could make use of lunar resources to facilitate scientific and economic activity in the vicinity of both Earth and Moon (so-called cis-lunar space) as well as future exploration deeper into the Solar System
 
We can consider the importation of lunar resources to the Earth’s surface where they would contribute directly to the global economy.

Tags: spacemoonminingresourcessolar systemcommercial space

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-12-03
+1
Many thinks are possible if one just looks at advances in science and technology - however the next important step is to asses how feasible things like mining the moon are. At this moment in time transporting anything from the moon to earth is not affordable Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-03-21
+0
Most of the things you mention is astonishingly precise and it makes me ponder the reason why I hadn't looked at this with this light previously. This article truly did turn the light on for me as far as this particular subject goes. Nevertheless at this time there is 1 factor I am not necessarily too cozy with so whilst I attempt to reconcile that with the main theme of the point, allow me observe exactly what all the rest of your visitors have to say.Very we Reply


 

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