Image credit: Dassault Systèmes
According to former NASA scientist and current University of Central Florida professor Dr. Phil Metzger, off-planet mining and manufacturing could be made a reality using today’s technological capabilities. The main obstacle in launching this industry is not financial, he said, but merely a matter of convincing people that it is possible.
Dr. Metzger proposed that beginning an off-planet mining project on the moon and asteroids would only take a fraction of NASA’s budget over several decades, and could provide more access to key elements and minerals that are increasingly over-mined on Earth. It could not only provide resources for people to use on Earth, but also benefit the growth of science in space while proving to be a profitable enterprise. Read the full story >>
PISCES offers a high-fidelity analogue test site on the Island of Hawaii, where space agencies like NASA and the CSA test robotic mining technology hardware and software essential for this industry. The analogue test site simulates the conditions of off-planet bodies like the moon, having very similar soil and mineral composition. PISCES is also involved in basalt manufacturing, building concrete using volcanic basalt. The project aims to provide a sustainable building material for the islands, while advancing construction techniques for use in outer space.