NASA is planning to introduce mineral mining in outer space in order to find a new fuel source. According to many reports, the space organization is planning to exploit the mineral-rich surface of the moon. Moon is home to many rare metals like gold, platinum, and many more. But the main concern at this moment is to search for a fuel source on the surface of our natural satellite. The most exciting news that has all scientists on the verge of their seats is the use of water in rockets as a fuel source.
According to scientists, water breaks up to give off hydrogen and oxygen. Liquefying these constituents will help us produce rocket fuel. If spacecraft can halt on a lunar base or any other planet for that matter to refuel, they no longer need to carry extra fuel sources. This will also help astronauts travel further into our universe. Because there will be no dependencies in terms of fuel or energy.
NASA’s Artemis program wants to build a lunar base this decade to start mining the moon for water and turn it into rocket fuel. Here’s what it would take to get there. https://t.co/4tjzEdKz6b
— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) May 19, 2020
NASA Artemis: Plan to harvest ice water from Moon
Creating a sustainable source of fuel has been on the list of many space organizations. The space organization suggests the presence of almost 600 million metric tonnes of ice water on the Moon. However, this means that if one can mine the natural satellite properly, it will provide fuel for generations of rockets. It will also save billions in weight and space for hauling fuel.
But what neither the Artemis Accords nor any part of the Artemis program can tell you is how we’ll actually access the moon’s water. There are plenty of obstacles. The cold temperatures and radiation could endanger humans and degrade sensitive equipment. It’s not ideal to have a large crew of human beings running these kinds of operations day in and day out, but it’s equally unclear how much can be delegated to autonomous systems.
Lunar soil itself is coarse and jagged and prone to sticking to everything. It could wreck machinery and pose safety issues to workers in spacesuits. And we would still need to have astronauts living semi-permanently on the moon’s surface. NASA’s ambitious Artemis plans call for building a lunar base by 2028.
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