We’ve seen China’s efforts to estalish a first in space exploration with their Chang’e4 which made a soft landing on the far side of the moon and grew plants on the moon, even if they only lasted for a few days. This week, the European Space Agency stated their plans for the next decade, and it includes the popular ‘space mining’ topic.
The European Space Agency has its mind on extracting lunar material, and they want to do it by 2025. At the beginning of this week, Rocket maker ArianeGroup has announced that they have signed a contract with the ESA to begin planning for mining on the moon for regolith.
Mining for Lunar Resources: Sustainable Lunar Exploration and Settlement
Regolith is found all over the surface of the moon, and it could contain water and oxygen that should be able to be transformed into a resource for a future sustainable lunar settlement or exploration.
Dr. David Parker with the ESA stated the following:
The use of space resources could be a key to sustainable lunar exploration, and this study is part of ESA’s comprehensive plan to make Europe a partner in global exploration in the next decade – a plan we will put to our Ministers for decision later this year at the Space19+ Conference.
ArianeGroup will use the Ariane 64 rocket platform and also startups as partners – PTScientists and Space Applications Services. Together they will design a plan which should include a lander and robotic instruments that will be able to mine and harvest the lunar material. So far, there are no plans for a crewed mission on the moon.
In the past years, space mining has become a hot topic, with companies and space groups trying their best to find a way and exploit the otherworldly bodies like the Moon, Mars, and asteroids. According to investment analysts, space mining will be very profitable for the first group that can achieve and master it. Space mining will make those people the first trillionaires.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere