Tag: lunar mining

New GXLP Study Shows Significant Lunar Economic Opportunities

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moon_wires
A new London Economics market study commissioned by the X Prize Foundation indicates that commercial opportunities at the moon will be worth billions of dollars in the decades ahead.

“With an overall estimated market value in the 10 years directly following the competition of US$1.9 billion, and $6.4 billion over the 25 year longer term, it is clear that the Google Lunar XPRIZE presents a very significant incentive for teams to organize themselves to pursue and capture the various commercial opportunities that they can access,” the study states.

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Astrobotic Awarded NASA Contract for Lunar Polar Prospecting

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Nick Litwin, an engineering student at Carnegie Mellon University, checks a fastener on a newly assembled lunar lander designed to deliver a robot to the moon in 2014 and win the Google Lunar X Prize, a $30 million competition. The lander was built by Astrobotic Technology Inc. and Carnegie Mellon and is being shipped this week to the Boeing Co. in El Segundo, Calif., for testing. (PRNewsFoto/Carnegie Mellon University, Tim Kaulen)

PITTSBURGH, PA (Astrobotic PR) –Astrobotic Technology Inc. announces a NASA contract to determine whether its polar rover can deploy an ice-prospecting payload to the Moon. The ice could yield water, oxygen, methane and rocket propellant to dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration.

“Astrobotic seeks the immense resources available on the Moon to both accelerate space exploration and improve life on Earth,” said David Gump, president. “The lunar path is near term. We intend a prospecting mission in 2015.”

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GXLP News: Moon Express Delivers Mission Design Package to NASA on Exploration, Mining

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Moon Express lander test vehicle. (Credit: Moon Express)

Mountain View, CA (ME PR)Moon Express, a Google Lunar X PRIZE contender, announced today that it has successfully delivered a mission design package to NASA under its Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data (ILDD) Program, providing NASA continuing data on the development of the company’s commercial lunar missions and plans to mine the Moon for precious planetary resources. The newest task order in the $10M ILDD contract called for Moon Express to provide NASA with data about the company’s progress through a Preliminary Design Checkpoint Technical Package that documents details of mission operations, spacecraft development, payload accommodations and Planetary Protection Plans.
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New Space Prize: Moon Express Crowd Sources Lunar Mining Tools

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Largely lost in Moon Express’s announcement last week of a partnership with Auto Desk was the announcement of a new space prize:

Moon Express also announced “The Moon is ME” Lunar Mining Design Competition as a global challenge to design lunar mining tools that the MERLIN rovers can utilize to acquire and transport lunar samples containing valuable metals and minerals. The competition is global and open to students as well as professional designers using Autodesk software. The top designs will be prototyped and demonstrated in a field test competition at Moon Express facilities at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. The winning prize design will be funded by the company for potential test and demonstration on the Moon.

In essence, Moon Express is going to crowd source these valuable tools instead of hiring people to internally design them.

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Astrobotic Plans Moon Mining in 2014

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The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has an update on Astrobotics lunar mining plans, including interviews with Red Whittaker and David Gump:

Astrobotic’s planned 2014 mission consists of a robot that would use a circular bucket wheel and a large bin to collect lunar soil for the inaugural attempt to mine the moon at its south pole, said Chris Skonieczny, Astrobotic’s principal researcher and a CMU doctoral candidate in robotics.

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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Extraterrestrial Prospecting Session

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Asteroid Ida

Extraterrestrial Prospecting

Michael A’Hearn, University of Maryland
“Water or Rocks: Resources for Earth or for Exploration?”

Brad Blair, SSI, and Prof. Leslie Gertsch, University of Missouri-Rolla
“Mining Methods for Asteroid Utilization”

Mark Sonter, Asteroid Enterprises Pty Ltd.

“Mining Concepts Development for Assessing Asteroid Resources”

Dr. Faith Vilas, University of Arizona
“Resources from Asteroids: What We Can Expect From What We Now Know”
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Astrobotic Wins NASA Contract for Prototype Lunar Mining Robot

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ASTROBOTIC PRESS RELEASE

NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University to develop a prototype robot for mining water and methane ices at the Moon’s poles. These volatiles can refuel astronauts’ spacecraft for their return trip to Earth, halving the cost of human Moon expeditions.

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