Planetary Resources

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Atomkilla, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder

    Sep 14, 2009
    I think we already went there and discovered nothing...sorry, some moon rocks. Yep it cost approximately $170 billion (in 2005 dollars), and they found some rocks. Mining the moon is ludicrous. :?
     
  2. Dude101

    Dude101 Vault Fossil
    Modder

    Aug 3, 2005
    Not true, the moon is covered in helium 3. You can scoop it off the surface. No digging is required:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3

    SpaceX can make mining this stuff possible with Falcon heavy in the coming years:

    http://www.spacex.com/falcon_heavy.php

     
  3. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    It's not for tomorrow morning that's for certain. But sooner or later we'll have to strip mine some rock other than ours, won't we?
     
  4. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    If the moon has been a victim of the stelar bombardment just like the earth for the past 4,5 billion years then there is a high chance that the moon will as well contain materials like iron, nickel, gold, and platinum group metals. Particularly rhodium has quite some value.

    So its not like the moon is completely without resources. Not to mention the moon it self might be a good "base" in the distant future when it is safe and viable to travel trough space. Like between mars and earth. Or something like that. Maybe in 100 years or so holidays on the moon will be normal. Who knows.

    Mining in space is for now neither feasible nor economically possible. But if there is a place where mining might happen then it will be probably either the moon or mars. For obvious reasons. Both places have a close distance to earth relatively speaking and they are much safer then any asteroid.

    We might happen to see the one or other test for it to in our century, but I would not hold my breath to see any serious mining for resources in the next 80 years or so. The obstacles are huge. Above all. The distance. With our current technology we need approx 3 years to get to the Mars. And humans are not made for the conditions of space. As soon the astronauts arrive there they would have the power and stamina of an 80 year old man. Without gravity muscles and bones start to degenerate. Even exercises cant avoid that. So that leaves only the choice to use Robots. Now the technology here might become one day good enough to send those in to space and do the mining for us. Who knows. But as said. It will be a really long way till the first mining can start.
     
  5. El Pagano Loco

    El Pagano Loco It Wandered In From the Wastes

    108
    Feb 28, 2012
    Hahahahahaha, no. Being Earth's and Theia's love child, the moon is composed of the materials he got from Earth's crust which is mostly oxygen, magnesium, silicon, aluminum and calcium with iron being mostly present in it's small core. This means that the value of mining on the Moon would be...:lol: However, there is one known resource on the moon and that is helium-3, that is to say, an isotope of helium containing 2 protons and 1 neutron in its nucleus (standard helium has 2 protons and 2 neutrons). The reason this is present on the moon is because the moon has no atmosphere so charged particles from the sun can impact it and cause reactions that produce helium-3 nuclei, whereas on Earth these same particles would either be deflected by the magnetic field or absorbed by the atmosphere. Helium-3 is of interest in fusion research, and as a possible fuel for fusion power plants in the future.
     
  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    eh, dude. Asteroids contain quite a lot of materials. And those asteroids have as well hit the moon. So tell me a reason why there should be not materials present on the moon from those impacts just as how it happened on earth. Or do you think the stuff we have on the earth, like platinum, chrome, Uranium etc. came out of nowhere? All of those have been created in stars with fusion and thrown in to space.

    So why should the moon not contain some of the stuff?
     
  7. donperkan

    donperkan Vault Senior Citizen

    Aug 4, 2011
    And what role do asteroids play in this? Elements are present in all planets and galaxies they are not brought by asteroids.

    And he's right, at least from an economic standpoint, I'm sure all elements are present but some are only in traces and that means not worth bothering with.
     
  8. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    yes, vuk is right in that any thinkable element is found in space. believing anything else (that natural chemical compounds are endemic to earth) is geocentric and silly.

    but pagano loco and donperkan are right in that it would really not be worth it to go all the way to the moon for mundane minerals and chemicals, really. if we can find even fairly rare compounds here on earth, why fly to the moon for mere traces of them?

    helium 3 is one where the situation is turned around: it is abundant on the moon, and extremely rare on earth, making it potentially viable to actually spend the investment (can you imagine the cost... ) of industrial extraction

    there are planets in our solar system with enormous abundances in valuable resources, but it is simply not cost efficient to go look for them, no matter how valuable the actual resource is.
     
  9. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Is that a serious question? You could answer that by logic alone.

    Now I am not a pro when it comes to astro physics. But if I remember correctly it is a widely accepted theory that asteroids have been responsible for many changes. Most important the fact that they carried watter. Eventually.

    Anyway. Fact is that asteroids contain materials. If they collide with the earth or any other planet/object the material will retain there.

    So again. 4,5 Billion years. Thats enough time for a few rocks to hit either earth or moon.

    I will try to explain it this way.

    Asteroids contain elements. Asteroids collide with moon. Moon now contains those elements.

    many of it are theories, but I sounds logic enough for me.

    Meteor Shower Rained Gold On Ancient Earth

    many of the elements we have on the earth today come from space. Which is obvious. The same is true for the moon if not as much like on earth eventually. Since the moon exists for quite some time now and since it was hit by asteroids (the craters have to come from somewhere) it is not far away to assume that it will contain elements of some value, like gold, platinum, uranium etc. Pretty much many of the elements you would expect on asteroids. The moon even contains "water".

    It's Official: Water Found on the Moon

    which is again explained by the fact that most asteroids do contain a lot of water in form of "ice". I think 60 or 70% of them are made from ice even. But I am not sure about that right now. There are enough theories that contain the idea "life" could have never worked on earth without the impacts of asteroids which have eventually brought elements to earth needed to form the most simple life forms. If that is true? Who knows. Its not really proven yet. But the whole concept about how life started is not completely understood anyway. But it is a common theory that most of the elements on earth come from impacts with asteroids.

    because we might not find enough of it on earth at some point. Or because it might seem safer to do the mining and processing on the moon. You don't have to worry about pollution there after all for example. Not to mention for operations in outer space it would be much cheaper and safer to do the things on the moon then earth. I mean the process of refueling space crafts and stations in space. The moon has much less gravity. But that is all just dreams of the future. Like a mission to mars with human astronauts.

    But yeah. Its not feasible for now. But who knows how things will look like in 100 or 150 years from now. If the technology is really advancing at such a rate it might be "realistic" to expect something in the next 150 years projects with the idea to do some mining on the moon. Just as how they already thought during the 50s about mining on the bottom of the ocean. Those are of course long term ideas. Nothing that you can expect in our life time.

    Would have someone guessed in 1912 that we will today fly in to space? Took a long time till we reached the moon after all. But it happened. Why should it not happen one day that we have eventually a base on the moon? Mining for minerals eventually? As said. Only the future knows. I am not a dreamer. I just think that with enough time many things are possible.
     
  10. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    ^you're thinking of comets. comets are famously "made of ice", which is rather frozen mud in fact. a frozen mixture of actual water, and a lot of carbon and other elements, creating a material very similar to... mud.

    not saying asteroids do not have water, its becoming more and more obvious that these elements arent unique at all, and possibly found all over the place, but comets are the ones made "primarily" of ice, and often credited of "watering" our early planet.

    /anecdotal comment

    you are correct that mining for more mundane elements can become feasible in the future. but i still think it will take a whole lot. we can open mine after mine after mine here on earth still, and for the microscopic minority even remotely bothered with environment, there are methods to "repair" damage from mining and such (not really effective) initiatives.
    unless they discover oil on the moon, i think we're gonna have to wait much longer than a century or two :D
     
  11. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    hmm yeah comets asteroids, you're right now I remember. Still both moon and earth probably got hit by both of them in large numbers during the few billion years of their existence :P
     
  12. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    oh yes, definitely. the dinosaurs will tell you all about that :D
    its just they are different in nature, comets are mostly found in a "halo" surrounding our solar system. as far as i know, they "reside" further out than any other orbiting entity.
    they could be some sort of frozen residue from the very forces forming our sun :I
    meteors are on the other hand "just rocks", pieces of gravel and stuff that have made (and destroyed) planets.
     
  13. donperkan

    donperkan Vault Senior Citizen

    Aug 4, 2011
    Don't get me wrong, i know that asteroids crashed on the suface and in time they brought a certain quantity of certain elements with them, but to credit the planets whole supply of certain element solely to asteroids is bonkers.

    Whether or not gold is present on moon has little to do with asteroids, they contributed for sure but the result in quantity is negligible.

    edit: Unless you mean those early stages of planet formation, then jeah asteroids brouhgt everything.
     
  14. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder

    Sep 14, 2009
    Even if there was precious metals on the surface of the moon, how is it going to be processed. You cant just shovel 100 tons into a vehicle and fly back to the earth. To build a factory or facility that would weight in the 1000s of tons would cost 100s of billions. Then to run it, and all of the raw materials required to retrieve the precious metals (chemicals - sodium cyanide, activated carbon, caustic soda, etc), it's a stupid idea.

    The jerks proposing this should grow up, and spend their money on something that might actually help humanity - education, and health care. :roll:
     
  15. El Pagano Loco

    El Pagano Loco It Wandered In From the Wastes

    108
    Feb 28, 2012

    :lol: I'm sorry man, it doesn't work that way.

    EDIT: If you're just trolling me, tell me now, because you've succeeded. If you're not, please look it up, i wont discus something this asinine because next thing you know, flat Earth threads will start popping up.
     
  16. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    And why not?

    All that I can read here is "but its impossibru!" without any claims to back up that opinion.

    At least explain why you think its not working that way. I am at least providing articles that explain the logic behind it.

    yeah I am sure it is

    Huge Asteroids Brought Gold to Infant Earth, Study Says

    The issue here is that probably without astroids much of the surface would probably not even contain that much material eventually. Gravity and heat would have let most of the materials like iron sink in to the core of the earth so there is still the question why we have those materials on the surface in the first place. They believe that what we have on the surface is only a very small fraction of the elements compared to the inner parts of the earth like the mantlet which probably contains like 90 or even 99% of the resources we have on earth - but I am not sure about that part right now. The crust is after all only 1% of the earth or something like that. Most of the earth is made by the mantlet and core.

    Again its just a "theory" like any other. And as such it might be true or not. But I am not completely dismissing the possibility that asteroids played a role when it comes to the importance of materials on earth. Yet unknown chemical actions might as well be responsible for it. But so far the theory with asteroids sounds plausible. If its really true is another question. It might be a combination of chemical actions and asteroids in the end. The earth is even today still active with vulcanism which cant be said about either the moon or mars.
     
  17. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    what are you guys even discussing anymore?

    wether or not space (also known as "all of reality, in and outside earth") holds metals and important minerals?

    pagano, any large object in space that is hit by a meteor, will "absorb" the material of that meteor. the meteor doesnt dematrialize upon impact

    ive no idea what you guys are disagreeing about right now
     
  18. El Pagano Loco

    El Pagano Loco It Wandered In From the Wastes

    108
    Feb 28, 2012
    The moon is composed mostly of oxygen, magnesium, silicon, iron, aluminum and calcium. It's an ordinary, common, proven scientific fact. DO...YOU...NOT...UNDERSTAND...IT?
     
  19. donperkan

    donperkan Vault Senior Citizen

    Aug 4, 2011
    If we accept that theory then we are opening the door to creationists who are going to say that jesus made that asteroid crash on earth. I can't let that happen. :seriouslyno:
     
  20. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    the earth is made of mostly iron, oxygen, silicon and magnesium.
    so we can only conclude that gold does not exist on earth.

    again, what is the disagreement here?
    that meteors contain certain compounds, or that these compounds can/can not be transfered? or that the moon cannot contain any other compounds than its list of most-common?