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A geologic assessment of potential lunar oresAlthough bulk lunar soil is not a suitable feedstock for extracting metals, certain minerals such as anorthite and ilmenite can be separated and concentrated. These minerals can be considered as potential ores of aluminum, silicon, titanium, andiron. A separation and metal extraction plant could also extract large amounts of oxygen and perhaps hydrogen from these minerals. Anorthie containing 19 percent aluminum and 20 percent silicon can be concentrated from some highland soils where it is present in amounts up to 60 percent. Ilmenite containing 32 percent titanium and 37 percent iron can be concentrated from some mare soils where it is present in amounts up to 10 percent. The ideal mining site would be located at the boundary between a high-titanium mare and a high-aluminum highlands. Such area may exist around the rims of some eastern maria, particularly Tranquilitatis. A location on Earth with raw materials as described above would be considered an economically valuable ore deposit if conventional terrestrial resources were not available.
Document ID
19790024068
Document Type
Other
Authors
Mckay, D. S. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Williams, R. J. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Res. Center Space Resources and Space Settlements
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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