NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Power requirements for mining and microwave processing of extraterrestrial resourcesResearch in progress on the use of nuclear power in mining the Martian moons for volatiles and hydrocarbons as well as to power microwave generators for processing both lunar regolith and the spoils from the Martian mines into building materials is described. Previous work on mining the Martian moons developed estimates for the costs and power requirements for extracting and shipping any volatiles that might be found on Phobos and Diemos. The costs were compared to the cost of shipping the same volatiles from Earth and it was found that the mining operation would break even for launch costs from Earth as low as ninety dollars per pound (198 dollars/kg). Above this figure the mines would generate a profit. Based on the results of recent work on the microwave processing of lunar regolith it was decided to refine the concept description. Work under way and to be reported deals with a better definition of the power required for mine operations, nuclear propulsion, and microwave materials processing.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Leonard, Raymond S. (Ad Astra Ltd. Santa Fe, NM., United States)
Johnson, Stewart W. (BDM Corp. Albuquerque, N. Mex., United States)
Date Acquired
August 13, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1988
Publication Information
Publication: New Mexico Univ., Transactions of the Fifth Symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Document Inquiry