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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: 3, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:04AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:04AM (#790432) Journal

    One of the world's largest iron mines [] 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.

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