Space experts, academics and government officials attended the third Off-Earth Mining Forum at the University of New South Wales in Sydney last week. Head researchers on space mining from around the world gathered to discuss the future of mining and colonisation Off-Earth.
According to Associate Professor Serkan Saydam who is the Research Director at UNSW’s School of Mining Engineering, living in space is closer than we imagine.
“According to some commercial space mining companies this operation (mining) can happen in the next 10 years. This achievement will definitely trigger the colonisation on the Moon and Mars. Although estimating the time frame is directly dependent on the research conducted in the related areas, we can also say that colonisation on the Moon and Mars can happen in the next 50 years.”
When space mining happens it will require many human and robot operators on Earth and initially only robots in space.Robots will mine for water first to use for human survival. Eventually operators will mine asteroids and comets.
Asteroids contain water and volatiles, precious metals, rare earth minerals, refractory materials, iron and nickel. While comets contain a mixture of gas, dust and water vapour.
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