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Mining in space: concepts and issues.

Chamberlain PG; Podnieks ER; Jenkins FM
Paper in Proceeds 15th World Mng Congress World Min Congr PP 43-49 :7 pages
The United States has announced a new national space exploration initiative: the manned exploration of mars and other planets using a permanent moon base as an intermediate station. Mission planners have identified mining and processing for fuel, life support elements, and construction materials as key components of this effort. Two schools of thought have emerged regarding the form of the mining technology: (1) simple surface mining equipment based on present terrestrial construction practice and (2) fresh innovative mining methods. The U.S. Bureau of Mines staff believe that both have a role in research and development for lunar resources. It is premature to project technology for lunar mining and processing, considering the shortage of information on the geological and engineering properties of the moon. This paper describes leading candidate mining and processing systems, including those based on available technology and several innovative concepts. The paper also identifies key issues that must be resolved by scientific study and engineering analysis before lunar mining can proceed.
Publication Date
Document Type
OP; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 156-92
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Paper in Proceeds 15th World Mng. Congress. World Min. Congr.
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division