Lunar Surface Mining Challenges

Lunar Surface Mining Challenges

Some people (I doubt it’s many the way Lunar settlement research has been funded) are working on how we can safely and efficiently gather the Lunar regolith from the surface and process it into useful items. Everything I’ve read focuses on robots doing the job as the surface is too dangerous for humans to spend a lot of time mining on it. I’ve decided to list all the challenges of Lunar surface mining that I can find. Not to see how our current technology stacks up (rather poorly I bet) but to maybe come at the problem from a different angle. Continue reading

Iron fines

Iron fines

Iron fines are the free metallic iron that isn’t incorporated into agglutinates, encased in glass, or deposited on the surfaces of mineral and rock particles. There’s not a lot of it in any given scoop of regolith but iron fines could be very important to Lunar Homesteaders. A simple magnet might be all we need to “mine” this resource. Continue reading

Nanophase iron

Nanophase iron

Nanophase iron – Photo – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_weathering – Author – IntrplnetSarah

Nanophase is a term for materials with grain sizes between 1 and 100 nanometers. Nanophase iron (np-Fe0) is typically created by impact heating but can also be the result of geological activity and solar wind sputtering. Either way, it’s a source of iron that might be relatively easy to extract. Continue reading