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Lunar mining now one step closer

Posted on Monday, 25 February, 2013 | Comment icon 7 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: ISAS/JAXA

Researchers in Australia have developed a substance that closely resembles the soil found on the Moon.

Led by Dr Leonhard Bernold, the team came up with a lunar soil simulant that is aimed at making it possible to test out resource gathering and construction on the Moon without having to leave the Earth. The soil can also be mixed up to create a waterless concrete, a potentially vital building material for future settlers on the lunar surface.

"We now know a lot about the mechanical properties of the regolith on the moon so we can create something that simulates it," said Dr Bernold. "We have tried to match it as close as we can."

"Australian researchers have developed a substance that looks and behaves like soil from the moon’s surface and can be mixed with polymers to create ‘lunar concrete’, a finding that may help advance plans to construct safe landing pads and mines on the moon."

  View: Full article |  Source: The Conversation

  Discuss: View comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by marcos anthony toledo on 25 February, 2013, 14:18
This is a long overdue development in Lunar colonization by mankind. Should have begun decades ago a shameful waste of time.
Comment icon #2 Posted by highdesert50 on 25 February, 2013, 15:15
It's unfortunate that despite NASAs lofty achievements, the oversight and subsequent funding never realized that subsequent to setting afoot in a new land, there is a wealth of history that then defines the process of colonization. A more diverse think-tank, including perhaps a historian, would have been a valuable asset to the planning of future endeavors as it is certainly obvious that if we intend to colonize, we will need to adopt, adapt, and integrate; a process fundamental to colonization.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Zaphod222 on 26 February, 2013, 5:20
As the article correctly states: "the cost of transporting materials made on Earth would be prohibitive", Exactly. And so would be the cost of transporting moon-mined materials to earth. It is the same trip in reverse. So the headline and entire article is completely pointless. There will be no "lunar mining". Not now, not ever. So why waste pixels writing about it?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 26 February, 2013, 11:16
No it isn't. The moon has one sixth the gravity of Earth. This means that you only need to expend one sixth of the energy to get off the moon that you do to get off the Earth, consequently it is far cheaper to send material from the moon to the Earth than it to do the trip the other way.
Comment icon #5 Posted by shrooma on 26 February, 2013, 16:14
if they start mining on the moon, I hope they find oil underneath the acre I bought! yaaayy!! eat your heart out middle east! :-D
Comment icon #6 Posted by ancient astronaut on 28 February, 2013, 4:46
Helium 3??
Comment icon #7 Posted by MysticStrummer on 2 March, 2013, 11:30
Have you seen the movie Moon? It's about an astronaut stationed on the moon to monitor mining equipment. In the extra features on the DVD they showed the movie to people at NASA. Apparently the movie is pretty scientifically accurate, so I wouldn't be so sure there will never be moon mining. Whether it's a good idea or not is another matter, but if there is something up there that a corporation can make money from, you can bet they'll find a way to do it.

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