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Water found on the moon may spur more space exploration, lunar settlement and lunar mining  (Source:
Space entrepreneurs look to extract resources from the moon, but others are arguing that international laws need to be made first

Lunar geologists and space entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly intrigued by the concept of lunar mining now that researchers have discovered an abundance of water on the moon. But others are suggesting that many obstacles need to be overcome before such a project can be executed. 

The discovery of lunar water has raised questions as to whether other resources such as helium 2 and rare Earth elements could be found on the moon as well. Now, certain countries are looking to race to the moon.

Paul Spudis, Ph.D., a lunar geologist and Senior Staff Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, has expressed interest in lunar mining and has even devised a plan for returning to the moon despite the fact that the Obama administration has no plans to return to the moon at all due to its cancellation of the Constellation program. Spudis' plan involves "robotic resource extraction and the deployment of space-based fuel depots" using water from the moon before any humans return to its surface.

On the other hand, Mike Wall, editor of, believes lunar mining should not be attempted before ironing out a few technical and legal issues. For instance, an international agreement consisting of property rights, a salvage law and a mining law would be needed in order to decide who owns the resources once they are extracted. The Outer Space Treaty does not allow nation states to claim territories on the moon, but it does not mention anything regarding resource mining, and laws need to be set before any mining on the moon begins. 

To set these laws, several proposals have been submitted with viable ideas to set lunar mining in motion. One proposal, which was published in the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce, recommended that "space faring countries" should claim and defend a large portion of land around an established lunar settlement and sell the land to investors on Earth, which could fund the commercial venture. 

A second proposal suggested an international agreement to sell lunar land to investors in an effort to fund space exploration programs.  

China, Russia and India have expressed interest in resource development on the moon. 

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RE: First come, first serve
By maven81 on 1/19/2011 1:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
"If someone invents a machine that can economically supply oxygen to a base station on the moon, then I will be a little less weary."

RE: First come, first serve
By Quadrillity on 1/19/2011 1:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ferrying huge amounts of it to the Moon would be extremely expensive — perhaps costing as much as US$100 million per tonne

The process uses the oxides — also found in Moon rocks — as a cathode, together with an anode made of carbon. To get the current flowing through the system, the electrodes sit in an electrolyte solution of molten calcium chloride (CaCl2), a common salt with a melting point of almost 800 °C.

Uh... you call that a sensible solution? Come on now...

RE: First come, first serve
By maven81 on 1/19/2011 6:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Ferrying huge amounts of it to the Moon would be extremely expensive — perhaps costing as much as US$100 million per tonne"

That sentence was talking about how much it would cost if you shipped the oxygen from the earth to the moon instead of creating it there. You obviously suffer from reading comprehension.

RE: First come, first serve
By Quadrillity on 1/20/2011 12:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
No, I don't suffer from reading comprehension. My assumption was that anyone following our thread would have also read the article that you posted. In the article, it plainly points out how expensive current viable methods are.

What I was trying to point out is that there is no sensible solution to the fundamental problems yet. Keyword here is "yet".

the electrodes sit in an electrolyte solution of molten calcium chloride (CaCl2), a common salt with a melting point of almost 800 °C

I still stand firm in my opinion that this kind of "breakthrough" invention is little more than pre-postulate design. It is not at all practical. Your opinion may differ than mine, but so be it. It's safe to say that neither one of us are actually qualified to make definitive statements; Although I could be wrong if you are an electro-chemical engineer or something lol.

RE: First come, first serve
By JKflipflop98 on 1/19/2011 8:01:47 PM , Rating: 3
Way to cherry pick your quotes in order to make the material fit your ideal. Schmoe.

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