Space Mining

Space Logistics is already here, but it’s always been the cost and the delivery reliability of the rockets carrying the payloads into space that has been the issue. But as our technical knowledge grew, the launch vehicles have become more reliable and the costs per kilo are coming down, which will one day make Space

Space Logistics is already here, but it’s always been the cost and the delivery reliability of the rockets carrying the payloads into space that has been the issue. But as our technical knowledge grew, the launch vehicles have become more reliable and the costs per kilo are coming down, which will one day make Space Mining a real reality.

Historically, it used to be national government operations including organisations like the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), China National Space Agency (CNSA) and others, who controlled the launch and delivery of commercial, military and scientific payloads into orbit or even into deep space.

Today, there are numerous private companies, who are designing, testing and flying private operated spacecraft. These companies are ripping up the rule book, when it comes to commercial launch systems and are all working towards Single Stage to Orbit delivery  platforms (SSTO).

Skylon is a single stage to launch vehicle, which uses the revolutionary Sabre engine. The Sabre Engine (Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine) which is being designed by a company called Reaction Engine Limited (REL) whom are based in Oxfordshire in the UK. There Sabre engine is designed to power an aircraft from a standing start on the ground to over five times the speed of sound or hypersonic speeds at altitude. During its initial flight, the engine is designed to suck in vast amount of air, compress and cool it in a fraction of a second (1000K in 1/20sec). This provides the fuel for the engine, which in rocket mode will power the vehicle to Mach 25 and it’s this velocity, which will allow it to enter earth orbit to deliver cargo or even passengers. The Skylon vehicle has the ability to use any large airport in the same way as a conventional airliner.

SpaceX are already flying launch vehicles and delivering cargo into orbit. SpaceX have also developed reusable launch vehicles e.g. Falcon9, which can be launched vertical and land vertically. These technologies will dramatically reduce the launch costs for everyone and it opens the door to new space industries in space mining. (SpaceX Link)

Space Mining is basically setting up mines on asteroids, minor plants or even and near earth objects. The human race will need access to vast amounts of raw materials including zinc, tin, silver and copper in the near future as the earth population is continuing to grow and we will need more resources. ( Please see this link)

Helium-3 (H3), is another interesting possibility for a moon mining operation. Our moon has been bombarded with vast amounts of Helium-3, which has been carried by the solar wind. Helium-3 can be used to power a new breed of Fusion Reactors, which could provide the world with clean energy.

To make these operations work, the human race will require cost effective and ultra-reliable launch platforms to deliver payload and space miners to these locations and return them home.

But as the space logistics operations develops, we will need new regulations and treaties, which will unite the world as the exploration of space benefits everyone. I long for the day, when I look at a product and notice its origin is the Moon, Mars or even Titan. We have included a useful link here

NASA has recently opened the International Space Station (ISS) to space tourists, thou the cost, per night will cost you more than the finest five star hotels on Earth, thou room service could be interesting, but the views will be spectacular ( We have included a useful link here). You`ll also have to pay for the flight to the ISS and that will cost you millions. Space is the new frontier for all of the human race, but the price of getting there will need to come down a lot to make it viable for rest of the human race.

 

References
• Space Links.                                           NASA, Lunar Gateway, Orion,
• Moon Links.                                            The Moon, C-Net,
• New Technology Links.                         C-Net, Techradar.
• Science Fiction Links.                           Space Colony’s, Science Fiction Books,
• Zlios News Links.                                    Space Logistics, Lunar Gateway,

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