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Mining in space: The next frontier

 Arun Lahre
Assistant Professor
Department of Mining Engg.
Kalinga University, Naya Raipur

Space mining refers to mining for materials in stars, moons and planets. The next frontier
Mining resources from celestial bodies might have been a fairy tale or science fiction idea before but is a
lot more popular and is a subject of the latest conversation and debate.
As technology increases and
we discover about space, mining the riches discovered in asteroids, moons and every
other celestial objects has turned into a favorite subject amongst researchers, business
people and the mining industry.
“Space Mining”: The Promising Prospects of Extracting Resources from Space
Rare earth elements as platinum and gold are also discovered in “flying mountains” –
like asteroid belts. Such materials are believed to exist in
these bodies much more than on Earth. In addition, the Moon and Mars possess substantial deposits of mi
nerals and metals and therefore are likely areas of mining in the future.
Technology-related problems:
Space mining is definitely appealing but there are enormous technological hurdles involved
in obtaining resources from space. Space mining activities need improvements in robotics, autonomous sy
stems and advanced materials compared with conventional Earth-based mining. For
example, prospecting for resources on asteroids calls
for maneuvering in microgravity and so conventional mining techniques are impossible. Researchers and
engineers are creating robotic methods to navigate, drill and process materials in extreme environments li
ke outer space.
To be considered: Ethics and environmental aspects:
We must consider the environmental and moral ramifications of space mining. We need to address issues
of property rights in outer space, space clutter prevention, and effects on stars. A balance between resourc
e extraction in addition to protection of the heavens is crucial for the future sustainability of space mining.
Worldwide Collaboration and Governance:
The world is confronted with the job of creating a
body to regulate space mining. International cooperation is essential to create requirements for responsibl
e space consumption, to ensure reasonable access to extraterrestrial resources and also
to prevent conflict over mining rights.
The Economic Impact:
Arun Lahre
Assistant Professor
Department of Mining Engg.
Kalinga University, Naya Raipur
Resource extraction from space can change many industries on Earth. The presence
of incredibly rare minerals and
metals in great numbers might disrupt present supply chains and lessen our dependence on Earth’s limited
resources. Space mining has economic effects which go beyond
the mine itself impacting the whole supply chain, engineering and inexhaustible energy industry.
Anticipating the Future:
Though space mining is a fairly new idea, thanks to technology developments and space exploration, it mi
ght become possible within the
next several decades. As private businesses and space organizations invest in R & D, access
to resources in our solar system becomes increasingly doable.

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