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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the can-you-dig-it? dept.

The European Space Agency plans to start mining for natural resources on the moon

The European Space Agency plans to start mining for water and oxygen on the moon by 2025.

The agency announced Monday it has signed a 1-year contract with European aerospace company ArianeGroup to explore mining regolith, also known as lunar soil or moon dust.

Water and oxygen can be extracted from regolith, potentially making it easier for humans to spend time on the moon in the future, according to ArianeGroup. The research could also make it possible to produce rocket fuel on the moon, enabling future expeditions to go further into space, the aerospace company said.

[...] The mission would be a collaboration between aerospace scientists and technicians in France, Germany and Belgium. The project is now in the research phase, with scientists hoping to use an Ariane 64 rocket in coming years to send mining equipment to the moon.

Previously: New ESA Head Wörner: 'We Could Build All Kinds of Things with Moon Concrete'
ESA Expert Envisions "Moon Village" by 2030-2050

Related: Moon Base Could Cost Just $10 Billion Due to New Technologies
How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently
Who Owns The Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers


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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:37AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:37AM (#790424)

    We can't pollute the moon with mining, it should remain a pure and clean nature reserve.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MostCynical on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:50AM (4 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:50AM (#790428) Journal

    how muh an they remove before the tides are effected?

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:04AM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:04AM (#790432) Journal

      One of the world's largest iron mines [wikipedia.org] mined about 1 billion metric tons of iron ore in over a century.

      The Moon's mass is about 70 billion billion (or 70 quintillion) metric tons.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Immerman on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:07AM (1 child)

      by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:07AM (#790433)

      Not even one grain - any change in mass whatsoever will have an effect on the tides. Just a proportionally minuscule one.

      How much before the effects become noticeable? That's a kind of arbitrary line, but if we say a 0.1% reduction in the force of lunar gravity would be noticeable, then we could remove 0.1% of the Moon's mass.

      How much is that in tonnes? Mass of moon(=7*10^22kg) * 0.1%(=10^-3) = 7*10^19kg = 70 million billion tonnes.

      • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:21AM

        by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:21AM (#790440) Journal

        Thank you, both.
        I was being a little disingenuous or flippant, but I appreciate the real answers.

        --
        "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @09:01AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @09:01AM (#790533)

      Charlie don't surf.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @04:32AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @04:32AM (#790461)

    We can't even get to low earth orbit ourselves anymore.

    Hell, we can't even keep our government open.

    Fortune favors the bold. And we aren't bold. We aren't very competent either.

    More's the pity. Sigh.

  • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Wednesday January 23 2019, @04:38AM

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @04:38AM (#790464)

    ESA Plans to Send Mining Equipment to the Moon

    Damn it. As if they are not already mining our data from our "smart" gadgets, from every street camera, from drones, planes and even from orbit, now they want to mine our data from the moon too!

    Wait, I was supposed to read the summary?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @01:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @01:50PM (#790588)

    You can’t mine without staking a claim of ownership. I thought it would be China to stake the first claim, I was wrong!

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