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Space mining just got a big boost

The U.S. Congress' passage of a bill that allows American companies to own and sell materials they extract from the moon, asteroids or other celestial bodies should help spur the development of off-Earth mining, representatives of the nascent industry say.

Are you ready to mining moon? Because...

«If initiated soon, a lunar depot could be in operation by 2021», say Bigelow Aerospace's President and founder, Robert T. Bigelow.

Credit: Bigelow Aerospace


In space exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) is the use of resources found or manufactured on other astronomical objects as the Moon, Mars, Asteroids or others, to further the goals of a space mission.                

The ability to produce propellant via In-Situ reduces Exploration Vehicle sizes, Propellant carry requirement by 50% and its tank diameter and length, as well as the number of launches for Space Travel.

Can we Mining the Atmosphere of Mars?

A study (phase 1) from NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) say it is really possible. This Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining report elaborate an innovative and feasible concept for a reusable Mars space transportation system that, without ever relying on propellant transported from Earth, can repeatedly launch and land on Mars. To do that, we can using propellant and electrical energy generated on orbit via plasma-harnessing, scooping, and ram-compressing the 95% CO2 Martian atmosphere, as well as the indigenous resources on the surface of Mars (CO2, H2O). Instead today's EDL technology, which limit to approximately 1-2 tons (t) of landed mass, this system can carry four crew members and cargo up to 20 metric t.


NIAC Mars Atmospheric Gas Resources Collector Vehicle (RCV) stack concept during an aerobraking CO2 collection pass in the upper atmosphere. Credit: NASA

The proposed mission architecture for the Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining concept incorporates a wide range of vehicle classes to make round-trip travel between Earth and Mars robust, affordable, and ultimately routine for cargo and crew, thereby helping to expand human civilization to Mars.

A representative decaying highly elliptic Molniya orbit around Mars.

ISRU Propellant's Selection/Application - You have to know

A Propellant need to meet many criteria to be considered as basis for transportation architecture. First, it must have thermal stability to operate in a liquid rocket engine, means the ability to cool engine throat critical heat flux, avoiding thermal decomposition and coking in engine coolant channels, as well as offers sufficiently high engine specific impulse (Isp).

From a vehicle system, it is the combined characteristic of propellant Isp and bulk density in meeting the vehicle impulsive velocity (DeltaV) mission requirement that offers either the lowest mass or lowest propellant tank volume that warrants the selection. So... 

The cryogenic Liquid Hydrogen(LH2), with its Normal Boiling Point at 36.6 degree Rankin, has an excellent gravimetric heat of combustion (energy per mass) and can generates an High Engine Specific Impulse when combusted with Liquid Oxygen (LO2). Used in launch vehicles for first stage and upper stage applications, it is the fuel of choice for In-Space Propulsion Stage because that high Isp value.

Its disadvantage is that, because it has a low volumetric heat of combustion due to its low density and boiling point, it required techniques for tank insulation and Cryo-Fluid Management to reduce its boil-off. These additional complexity and low dry mass for the stage, reduce its overall usable propellant mass fraction.

Rocket Propellant (RP-1) is a high density kerosene-based fuel commonly used in launch vehicles and, it can be stored in ambient temperature, no tank insulation or tank thermal conditioning is required. Its density is closer to that of LO2, thereby offers total tank volume efficiency. But, because it freezes at -60 degree Fahrenheit (400 degree Rankin), it required thick tank insulation or heaters to avoid the fuel freezing. These latter approach are considered not practical for Space applications.

One big NASA's focus is the Methane(CH4) because it give the advantage of “green” propellant, which minimizes environmental impact with its exhausts. Also, its main advantage is the perceived ease of manufacturing via the ISRU method and provide high density which offer a lower propellant tank volume.

As part of green propellant family, Propane (C3H8) is selected because it offers a good range of low freezing point and relatively high boiling point. Like Methane's ISRU production, it can be manufactured via similar method, be subcooled and thereby, increasing its density and, by the way, reducing its tank volume. 

Another Green propellant, Ethylene(C2H4)is selected because of its relative high Engine Isp and, like Methane and Ethanol, can be further subcooled to reduce tank volume. 

Reference: 49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE, Joint Propulsion Conference, San Jose, California/AIAA-2013-3804.


After traveling nearly four years and 1.7 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers), Dawn has been captured by Vesta's gravity, and there currently are 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) between the asteroid and the spacecraft. The giant asteroid and its new neighbor are approximately 114 million miles (184 million kilometers) away from Earth.


This video continues our look at Colonizing Space by examining the idea of Asteroid Mining and setting up colonies on Asteroids. We explore the science as well as practical issues of engineering, economics, legality, and psychology of such distant outposts. Learn More...

Credit: www.IsaacArthur.net

Space Architecture Assembly


Mexican commercial space company MxSpace and international asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries to sign historic agreement at the 67th International Astronautical Congress

GUADALAJARA, Mexico. September 29, 2016.

On September 29, at 11:00 a.m. local time, Deep Space Industries (DSI) and MxSpace will sign a historic agreement that marks the beginning of an international partnership between the companies to promote the development of new commercial space technologies and business ventures.


Acquired by Planetary Resourcs in May 2013, Asterank, created by Ian Webster, suggest thus prolific amount for the nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, hydrogen and ammoniac included in asteroid 783 NORA. For a complete localization for NORA and others go to


A new image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft shortly before its controlled impact into the comet’s surface on Sept. 30, 2016. Confirmation of the end of the mission arrived at ESA's European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, at 4:19 a.m. PDT (7:19 a.m. EDT / 1:19 p.m. CEST) with the loss of signal upon impact. The final descent gave Rosetta the opportunity to study the comet's gas, dust and plasma environment very close to its surface, as well as take very high-resolution images.

Lear More : http://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/final-descent-image-from-rosetta-spacecraft

Rosetta's last image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken shortly before impact, at an estimated altitude of 66 feet above the surface. Measures about 2.4 m, the image was taken with the OSIRIS wide-angle camera on 30 September and his scale is about 5 mm/pixel.


The OSIRIS narrow-angle camera aboard the Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft captured this image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on September 30, 2016, from an altitude of about 10 miles (16 kilometers) above the surface during the spacecraft’s controlled descent. The image scale is about 12 inches per pixel and measures about 2,000 feet (614 meters) across.



Deep Space industries- Mining The Universe For The Future

In the face of resource scarcity here on Earth, in the future we may obtain raw materials from the asteroids. This is the second film in my "Resources from Space" series. You can watch the other webepisodes here:
"Space-Based Solar Power": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJcev... / "Mining the Moon": http://youtu.be/n9EMcyfGMDA / "Beyond Sustainability" (prequel): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H4ks... / "The Making of Resources from Space ": http://youtu.be/rjzO9-hF9Oc
You can read more about resources from space, and access images from the videos, at: http://www.explainingthefuture.com/re...
Publiée le 26 mai 2015 /
Moon Mining: As the US grants it's first space mining bill, this report examines how lunar mining might change the world
Humanity's Furthest Outpost: Voyager Leaves The Solar System: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drha6...