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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

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  |  222 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  |  163 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  |  171 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  |  187 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

To accomplish the feat of putting human footprints on the moon, it took lots of money, people, political will and a cold war. Can we do it again.

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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/03  |  136 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  |  141 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Bryan Abrams reports that when we think of the Apollo 11 moon landing, what do we think of. President Kennedys bold vision. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrins heroism (unfortunately we rarely think about Command Module Pilot Michael Collins). Perhaps we even think of the incredible engineers, rocket scientists, astrophysicists and all the other geniuses at NASA who made it possible. Now I want you to think about your grandmas bra. Why. Because without the technology behind that brassiere (or girdle), the moon landing would have been impossible. It turns out that the 21-layers of gossamer-thin fab... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/01  |  138 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

A new paper argues against the wisdom of the U.S. declaring sovereignty over parts of the moon. The Moon has been kind of a backwater lately. During the 1960s, and early 1970s it was the hottest possible destination, what with unmanned probes from the U.S. and U.S.S.R. touching down on the lunar surface, followed by American astronauts riding across the dusty landscape. It is not that scientists have lost interest by any means, but most of what they have learned in recent decades has come from orbiting spacecraft like GRAIL and LCROSS and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

All that i... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/01  |  322 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Elon Musk and his Dragon spacecraft, Richard Branson and his SpaceShipTwo, Paul Allen and his Stratolauncher, Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada and its Dream Chaser. And there is that slightly larger outfit known as the Peoples Republic of China, which is taking on space the way it has taken on pretty much everything else it has turned its attention to in the past 15 years and that means bigger, better and more ambitiously than anyone else on the block. Just this week, Branson gathered 300 of his citizen astronauts folks who have already plunked down deposits for $250,000 suborbita... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/12/01  |  138 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.... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/11/22  |  152 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

The asteroid that exploded over Siberia injuring more than 1,000 and damaging buildings in six cities was a shocking reminder that Earth is a target in a cosmic shooting range. From the width of a football field to the size of a small city, these space rocks have the potential to be killers. In a collision with Earth, they could set off deadly blast waves, raging fires and colossal tidal waves. But some audacious entrepreneurs look up at asteroids and see payday, not doomsday. Some asteroids are loaded with billions of dollars worth of elements like iron, nickel, and platinum. NASA is planning... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/11/21  |  118 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Dr. Conca says that at 21 miles long by 7 miles wide, Eros, a piece of a broken up planetoid, is the second-largest near-Earth asteroid. Some of them are tracked, but we do not track all hunks that are large enough to cause grave harm, i.e., several hundred feet, that could destroy a large city. Space seems to be falling all around us lately. A geologic chunk about 55 feet wide (17 meters wide) with a mass of about 10,000 tons entered Earth atmosphere two weeks ago near Chelyabinsk and exploded with a force 20 times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in WWII. At the same time, another aster... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/11/21  |  135 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  |  150 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

After work by Arthur C. Clarke in 1945, and after Russian work in 1960, Jerome Pearson at the U.S. Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Ohio published in Acta Astronautica, Vol. 2., pp. 785-799, by Pergamon Press in 1975 the results of his investigation on the theoretical possibility of constructing a tower to connect a geostationary satellite to the ground. The orbital tower could be built only by overcoming the three problems of buckling, strength, and dynamic stability. The buckling problem could be solved by building the tower outward from the geostatio... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/10/18  |  134 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

This single discovery means that we can study the effects of cratering on the Earth nearly a billion years further back in time than was possible before, according to Dr Iain McDonald of Cardiff Universitys School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, who was part of the team. It is possible or even likely that the meteorite hit the sea, for the preserved rocks have been intensely altered by circulating hot aqueous fluids. These fluids were likely derived from sea water that would have been able to penetrate deep into the Earth's crust through the numerous fissures and crush zones generated by the impa... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/08/01  |  175 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

After receiving more than 400 responses to the Asteroid Initiative RFI, a team of NASA scientists, engineers, and mission planners evaluated the proposed ideas. The evaluation team rated the responses for relevance to the RFI objectives, innovativeness of the idea, maturity of the development approach, and potential to improve mission affordability.
Nearly 100 respondents have been invited to present their ideas and concepts during the Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop alongside NASA personnel and members of the larger community, including virtual participants. The purpose of th... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/04  |  144 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Jo-Ansie van Wyk reported that the South African delegation wishes to express our gratitude to address the Committee on this agenda item. The South African government places great importance on the link between space and society. It is for this reason that our government is leading the way in the application and development of space technology for the benefit of our society. In this regard, we would like to report on the following activities and achievements that our country has accomplished during the past year. Chairperson Space technology enables us to reach remote rural areas in our countr... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/01/26  |  75 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Researchers from the Scottish University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, have found 12 asteroids that could be easily blasted into accessible orbit and subsequently mined.
According to the MIT Technology Review, the team analyzed a list of 9,000 near-Earth celestial bodies relatively close to our planet in search of those that could follow into the so-called Easily Retrievable Objects category (EROs).

Geologists believe that asteroids hold iron ore, nickel and precious metals at much higher concentrations than those found on Earth. In fact, an asteroid that flew by the earth earlie... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/08/13  |  260 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

The referenced MIT Review indicates that Asteroids that pass close to Earth have become the focus of increased attention in recent years, partly because of the potential threat they pose to humanity. But they are also a potential boon. For decades, science fiction writers and various space scientists have pointed out that asteroids offer a huge untapped source of valuable resources. Bringing just a small portion of this back to Earth could be a game changer for our planet. And even if this stuff is too expensive to bring home, it could provide the raw materials for rocket fuel and perhaps even... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/08/13  |  161 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Although cancelled in 2010 by President Obama, the U.S. Constellation project was designed to return US astronauts to the Moon by 2020 and support long-term human settlement as well as in situ development of mineral and energy resources from infrastructure on the Moon, fuel and life support materials while in space and for use of such energy and mineral resources on Earth.

The members of the Energy Minerals Division (EMD) and of the Astrogeology Committee of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) remain steadfast in support of going back to the Moon to perfect our ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/08/13  |  130 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 unforeseen challenges that arose in the implementation of the recommendations of the decadal surveys. This report takes a closer look at the decade survey process and how to improve this essential tool for strategic planning in the Earth and space sciences.... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/08/27  |  116 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science. Based on a broad and comprehensive survey of scientific opportunities, infrastructure, and organization in a national and international context, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics outlines a plan for ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics for the decade of the 2010s.More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/10/09  |  130 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Elon Musk revealed plans for his radical new form of transportation called the Hyperloop today. Musk described the capsule as being aluminum that could carry both humans and car-sized vehicles. The tubes would form a loop shape, the long-lengths of which would travel parallel to one another. They would be made of steel, welded together, and will sit only about 100 feet apart held up by pylons. Those inside the tube could travel up to 800 miles per hour and, if traveling in a car-capsule, could simply drive out of the tube once the destination has been reached.

This could be adapte... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/03  |  188 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  |  112 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

LADEE is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well.

LADEE is the first spacecraft designed, developed, built, integrated and tested at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/09/04  |  132 Report Broken   Tell A Friend
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