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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  |  177 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  |  151 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  |  349 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  |  153 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  |  160 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  |  156 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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  |  250 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  |  187 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  |  153 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  |  184 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  |  148 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  |  192 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  |  145 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  |  274 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Esa Nummi reports that The Tech Times recently reported that Moon Express, a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company partnered with NASA, is one step closer to mining the Moon. The California-based company plans to send its robotic lander, dubbed MX-1, to the Moon by next year, and has already put into test a prototype at the Kennedy Space Center. Moon Express conducted the tests with the aid of NASA engineers as part of a lunar initiative known as Lunar Catalyst. Catalyst was designed to encourage new commercial capabilities to reach out and tap into the resources of ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/06/21  |  126 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  |  215 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  |  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 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  |  132 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Understanding the effects of natural and human-induced changes on the global environment and their implications requires a foundation of integrated observations of land, sea, air and space, on which to build credible information products, forecast models, and other tools for making informed decisions.

The 2007 National Research Council report on decadal survey called for a renewal of the national commitment to a program of Earth observations in which attention to securing practical benefits for humankind plays an equal role with the quest to acquire new knowledge about the Earth sys... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/08/27  |  169 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  |  208 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  |  155 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  |  148 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  |  180 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  |  173 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  |  145 Report Broken   Tell A Friend
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