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To build a mine: Prospect to productThe terrestrial definition of ore is a quantity of earth materials containing a mineral that can be extracted at a profit. While a space-based resource-gathering operation may well be driven by other motives, such an operation should have the most favorable cost-benefit ratio possible. To this end, principles and procedures already tested by the stringent requirements of the profit motive should guide the selection, design, construction, and operation of a space-based mine. Proceeding from project initiation to a fully operational mine requires several interacting and overlapping steps, which are designed to facilitate the decision process and insure economic viability. The steps to achieve a fully operational mine are outlined. Presuming that the approach to developing nonterrestrial resources will parallel that for developing mineral resources on Earth, we can speculate on some of the problems associated with developing lunar and asteroidal resources. The baseline for our study group was a small lunar mine and oxygen extraction facility. The development of this facility is described in accordance with the steps outlined.
Document ID
Document Type
Gertsch, Richard E.
(Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Space Resources. Volume 3: Materials
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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