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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology
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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

China has launched Jade Rabbit, its first lunar rover set to explore the surface of the Moon hoping to find rare earth minerals in its crust. This launch could mark the successful soft landing of a third country on the moon, after United States and Russia.
Zhang Zhenshong, director of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center said that China will strive for our space dream as part of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. Professor Ouyang, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that China is looking at the potential natural resources the Moon likely holds. The Chinese spacecraft is equ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/03/15  |  273 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Mining in space is moving from science fiction to commercial reality but metals magnates on this planet need not fear a mountain of extraterrestrial supply the aim is to fuel human voyages deeper into the galaxy. Within three years, two firms plan prospecting missions to passing asteroids. When even a modest space rock might meet demand for metals like platinum or gold for centuries, it is little wonder storytellers have long fantasized that to harness cosmic riches could make, and break, fortunes on Earth.

But with no way to bring much ore or metal down from the heavens yet, new ve... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/10  |  199 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

The House science committee carved out two hours of time on Wednesday to discuss the search for extraterrestrial life. Because the House has just seven days of work left before the end of the year, this hearing idea has generated some pretty harsh criticism. But laments about an unproductive Congress finding time to look for aliens of all things are sadly misguided. This hearing is a great idea, and it is doing something remarkable, getting the Republican-led, scientifically challenged committee to seriously discuss an important field of research and the funding needed to keep it going.... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/10  |  185 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Sci-News.com is an independent source for the latest news on science, especially of interest to I2M Web Portal readers, space exploration for off-world mineral resources. Updated daily, Sci-News.com is brought to you by an international team of science editors and reporters.
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/17  |  196 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

A laser-powered robotic climber has won $900,000 in a competition designed to spur technology for a future elevator to space. Building a space elevator would require anchoring a cable on the ground near Earth equator and deploying the other end thousands of kilometers into space. The centrifugal force due to Earth spin would keep the cable taut so that a robot could climb it and release payloads into orbit.

Though building a space elevator might require an initial investment of billions of dollars, proponents say once constructed, it would make for cheaper trips into space than is p... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/01/30  |  160 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

The CATALYST program is a wonderful opportunity, say officials at lunar-mining hopeful, Moon Express of Mountain View, California, which paid for access to NASA facilities when designing an X Prize entry. We anticipate CATALYST will lead to delivery of payloads and missions to the lunar surface in the same way that commercial transport services to the space station have, says Moon Express CEO Bob Richards.

Public-private partnerships have proven their worth in low Earth orbit, so this is a step in the right direction, agrees Mike Gold, director of Bigelow Aerospace in Las Vegas, Nev... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/02/07  |  205 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Asteroid mining could become reality sooner than we think. Billionaire-backed Planetary Resources is launching technology demonstration missions this summer to showcase the asteroid-prospecting spacecraft they have developed. They say that within three years they will be launching their first customer-financed mission to explore targets for resource extraction.

The company has attracted some high profile investors, most notably Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. However, a recent set of studies from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics highlighted just how lit... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/02/10  |  154 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Lee Billings reports that China, Russia and the U.S. are developing and testing controversial new capabilities to wage war in Earth orbit. The most worrisome military flash point is arguably not in the Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Kashmir or Ukraine. In fact, it cannot be located on any globe. The contested territory? The no-mans-land of Earth orbit, where a conflict is unfolding that is an arms race in all but name.

About 1,300 active satellites now reside in the region of outer space immediately surrounding our planet, where they provide worldwide communicati... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/10/19  |  281 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

In what can be considered giant leap towards mining minerals from the moon, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has began accepting applications from potential business partners interested in mining the moon. The move, part of a plan unveiled in January, aims to find private financing to help its experts design and build lunar prospecting robots, the first major step required to explore Earths natural satellite for valuable resources. Unlike some business figures who have set up their own space mining endeavors, NASA only counts on a budget set by the US government, whi... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/02/10  |  159 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Michael Lemonick reports that the amazing part is not so much that there is water on Mars, because scientists have known for years that the life-giving liquid flowed freely and abundantly across the Martian surface billions of years ago, and that water in the form of ice still exists in reasonable quantities at the planet poles. But these sandy particles were blown here from all over Mars before settling to the ground. This one sample, therefore, tells us that the water Leshin team found is spread pretty much everywhere on the planet. No matter where astronauts eventually land, they will be ab... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/01  |  171 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

NASA is accepting proposals for a new moon-mining program to explore the lunar surface for valuable resources like helium-3 and rare-earth metals. The Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown program (CATALYST) is a no funds exchanged Space Agreement Act and final proposals are due on March 17th, 2014. One or more private companies will win a contract with NASA to build prospecting robots, the first step toward mining the moon. However, the possibility of lunar-mining has triggered debate as according to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty of the United Nations, countries are prohibite... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/03/15  |  192 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

A NASA team that will conduct the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities. This determination was made after a recent successful Mission Critical Design Review (CDR) for the NASA Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). The CDR was held at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Littleton, Colo., April 1-9. An independent review board, comprised of experts from NASA and several external organiza... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/04/10  |  147 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Science fiction authors and futurists have been musing on the possibility of mining asteroids for decades, but last year a company called Planetary Resources declared its intention to actually do it. That got people thinking about whether or not humanity has really reached the point where asteroid mining could become a reality. A group of astronomers at the University of Strathclyde in the UK have replied with an emphatic positive response. They have identified 12 near-Earth asteroids that could be easily retrieved and mined with current rocket technology.

They conclude that asteroi... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/05/13  |  292 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Today NASA pursues technical innovations and scientific discoveries to advance human exploration of space. To prepare for these complex missions, a vast amount of planning, testing, and technology development must be accomplished. Yet, forecasting how that planning will translate into everyday operations in space is difficult while still on Earth. To help prepare for the real-life challenges of space exploration, NASA relies on Earth-based missions that are similar, or analogous, to space. These are called analog missions or field activities set in remote locations with extreme characteristics... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/06/10  |  137 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

In space, one resource above all others is expensive and without cheap access to it, growth is limited. Fuel is the catalyst for rapid expansion into every frontier in history, and has been cheap and locally available. And in space, access to rocket fuel is currently neither cheap, nor local... but it is nonetheless available out there.

On the Moon and on asteroids, abundant quantities of hydrogen and oxygen are available to create rocket fuel, the same material used by the Space Shuttle. This allows companies like Vivisat to fuel spacetugs that will be used to keep satellites in th... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/06/10  |  128 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Bill Ambrose indicates that future success in exploration and human habitation of the solar system will depend on space missions and settlements becoming more self-sustaining through exploitation of extraterrestrial (i.e., local) energy and material resources. For example, the Moon contains a wide variety of energy minerals and other resources that can potentially be used for manufacture of propellants for space transportation, volatiles for manufacture of chemicals, and metals for construction of solar power facilities, industrial plants, and structures for human habitation.

If wa... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/06/27  |  236 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

But one major argument against mining in space is the astronomical costs associated with mining asteroids. A recent set of studies from Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics highlights just how problematic this might be. They say that ore is not simply a high concentration of some resource, but includes consideration of the cost of extraction of the resource and its price. Hence we need to sieve the total asteroid population for the smaller populations that may be profitable to mine.

Dr. Martin Elvis used a simple formula for assessing how many near-Earth asteroids are ore-bea... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/02/10  |  286 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

This is a 1989 internal NASA report prepared for NASA Administrator Truly by a team led by Johnson Space Center Director Aaron Cohen. It was commissioned by Admiral Truly after the Presidents July 20, 1989 speech, and its purpose is to provide a database for the Space Council to refer to as it considers strategic planning issues. The report will be used as an input and one data source for Council consideration of approaches to program, schedule and technology, international cooperation and management. The Space Council will examine the reference cases described in the report and also intends t... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/11/01  |  178 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Rice University lab creates energy storage that may find use in oil discovery, space, military applications. Clay, an abundant and cheap natural material, is a key ingredient in a supercapacitor that can operate at very high temperatures, according to Rice University researchers who have developed such a device. The Rice group of materials led by geoscientist Pulickel Ajayan reported in Nature online journal, Scientific Reports, that the supercapacitor is reliable at temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) and possibly beyond. It could be useful for powering devices ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/05  |  191 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

NASA-funded lunar research has yielded evidence of water locked in mineral grains on the surface of the moon from an unknown source deep beneath the surface. Using data from NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, scientists remotely detected magmatic water, or water that originates from deep within the moon's interior, on the surface of the moon. The findings, published Aug. 25 in Nature Geoscience, represent the first detection of this form of water from lunar orbit. Earlier studies had shown the existence of magmati... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/10  |  161 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Alternate Science Investigations for the Kepler Spacecraft White Paper:
31 August 2013

Elvis, Galacheab and Williams propose to use a modest fraction of the re-purposed Kepler mission time and apertures to greatly increase the quantity and quality of our knowledge of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) rotation and shape. NEAs are important for understanding the origins of the Solar System, for selecting targets for robotic and human visits, and for hazardous object deflection. While NEAs are being discovered at a rate of 1000/year, only a ~75/year have well-measured rotation periods a... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/13  |  155 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

International Space Exploration Coordination Group(ISECG) Report of September, 2013 reports that more than fifty years of human activity in space have produced societal benefits that improve the quality of life on Earth. The first satellites, designed to study the space environment and test initial capabilities in Earth orbit, contributed critical knowledge and capabilities for developing satellite telecommunications, global positioning, and advances in weather forecasting. Space exploration initiated the economic development of space that today, year after year, delivers high returns for inve... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/20  |  201 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Planetary scientist Michael Mumma, a physicist at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who was among the first to detect methane in Mars atmosphere, said the new findings from the Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory means Mars has an unidentified mechanism for destroying methane, a process that occurs much faster than the 200 years or so that would be expected given the planets photochemistry.

We think that if Mars Science Lab lasted long enough and made sufficient measurements at a regular cadence that it should, at some point, see methane, if indeed there is another ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/21  |  249 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

The National Research Council (NRC) has been conducting decadal surveys in the Earth and space sciences since 1964, and released the latest five surveys in the past 5 years, four of which were only completed in the past 3 years. Lessons Learned in Decadal Planning in Space Science is the summary of a workshop held in response to unforseen challenges that arose in the implementation of the recommendations of the decadal surveys. This report takes a closer look at the decadal survey process and how to improve this essential tool for strategic planning in the Earth and space sciences. Workshop mo... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/10/09  |  132 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Helium is the second lightest and second most abundant element in the observable universe where it makes up about 24 per cent of the total elemental mass. This mass is more than 12 times greater than the mass of all the heavier elements combined. Most helium in the universe is helium-4 and is believed to have been created in the Big Bang and during fusion reactions in stars. Despite this abundance, helium, the lightest of the noble gases, is rare in the Earth's atmosphere making only about 0.00054 per cent of the volume or 5.2 parts per trillion. Most of the local helium was created by the na... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/07  |  236 Report Broken   Tell A Friend
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