Author Topic: Commercial mining of the Moon  (Read 3553 times)

Geoff

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Commercial mining of the Moon
« on: January 24, 2014, 09:02:54 am »
Something from one of the lists that I follow:

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The Earth's Moon is a treasure trove of mineral resources, such as precious metals, rare earth elements, Helium-3 and oxygen for propellants. However, the cost of landing on the Moon is currently very high. Using modern fibers we can build a lunar elevator which reduces the cost of lunar landing sixfold. Furthermore, it makes the cost of collecting material from the Moon and sending it to Earth essentially free. The lunar elevator will pay for itself after nineteen payload cycles. The lunar elevator represents a game changing technology which will open up the Moon to commercial mining.

Charles Radley is President of the Oregon L5 Society, and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA. He has worked extensively in the space industry since 1981 as a product assurance and systems engineer. He is an adviser to LiftPort Group.

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jules

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 11:24:17 am »
The idea of a space elevator has been on and off for a while. Interesting development!

kodemunkey

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 04:29:14 pm »
As far as i know, a full length space elvator to the earth from the moon is currently not possible. However i understand a catch and release system might be slightly more plausible.

Geoff

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 05:46:48 pm »
The plan is for an elevator from the Moon's surface to a point in space somewhere, not all the way to the Earth.

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The lunar elevator concept is a long tether which is loaded under tension by terrestrial and lunar gravity. One end is anchored on the Moon and the other end free, hanging towards Earth. The orbital center of mass of the system is located at an Earth-Moon Lagrange location, either L1 or L2, approximately 50,000 kilometres from the lunar surface.

See the link in my first post.

JFincannon

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 06:26:19 pm »
One problem I had with the concept of lunar elevator is the long time it takes to go up and down the tether.  I recall it was on the order of a week.  Makes for a boring ride for any astronaut.  At least you don't have to worry as much about the line being severed by orbiting satellites or debris.  I recall looking at the Earth space elevator over the equator and sure enough the ISS sliced it in its LEO orbit.  At least you might change the ISS trajectory by firing an engine.  The spent rocket boosters are another matter.

Geoff

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 07:09:47 am »
NASA is accepting applications from companies that want to mine the Moon and will help them (technical help, not funding).

NASA hunts for private companies to mine the Moon

Geoff

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2014, 08:33:53 am »
More info on a lunar elevator: Jacob's Ladder

AsteroidMichael

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 04:51:45 pm »
What about mining of the moon to get the necessary materials to build the Lunar Space Elevator (LSE)? - STAR Technology and Research, which is the company founded by Jerome Pearson, the Inventor on record of the Space Elevator, and a few other scientist and I have just put in a Proposal to build a sling coupled with semi-robotic operator-controlled lunar surface miners to feed an automated system designed around the NASA ATHLETE.  It is designed to build a tower for a sling that would send payloads to L1, and have a few OTV tugs to ferry it to LEO, where it can be processed safely within the Van Allen belts and in close support from Earth, then the parts would be sent back to L1 via the returning OTVs to build the Lunar Elevator in L1.

Geoff

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Re: Commercial mining of the Moon
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2014, 06:36:28 am »
What about mining of the moon to get the necessary materials to build the Lunar Space Elevator (LSE)? - STAR Technology and Research, which is the company founded by Jerome Pearson, the Inventor on record of the Space Elevator, and a few other scientist and I have just put in a Proposal to build a sling coupled with semi-robotic operator-controlled lunar surface miners to feed an automated system designed around the NASA ATHLETE.  It is designed to build a tower for a sling that would send payloads to L1, and have a few OTV tugs to ferry it to LEO, where it can be processed safely within the Van Allen belts and in close support from Earth, then the parts would be sent back to L1 via the returning OTVs to build the Lunar Elevator in L1.

In the 1980s there was a design for a Lunar mass-driver which would accelerate buckets containing lunar regolith along a magnetic rail and launch the contents into Lunar orbit.
Is the sling a better method of doing this?