NASA is all set to fund TransAstra for Space Mining projects

siliconreview NASA is all set to fund TransAstra for Space Mining projects

There is speculation that the best way to extract resource from moon or any nearby asteroids would be to hit it with sunlight or any other forms of radiation. Water found in these sources can play a crucial role in extending human footprint. Water can provide significant life support to astronauts and furthermore, it can be broken down to its constituents to serve as fuel for rocket. TransAstra received funding from NASA for two of its projects to develop advanced exploration techs. The company received NIAC award for its Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost, this laid down important groundwork that was necessary to make use of water in polar craters.

The mining work in the craters would be done using electrically powered rovers. The rovers would beam infrared light, microwave, and radio-frequency into the surface below its wheels. The radiation from the rover would vaporize water ice, this will cause the water to elevate into cryotraps in the rover. The rovers are estimated to weigh between 2 and 5 tons, and these rovers will be able to harvest between 20 - 100 times itsthe weight in water per annum. The LGMO gives an assurance that it will keep the cost of maintaining and establishing lunar outposts minimal and it can also serve as field station for NASA astronauts.

The basic framework for the whole operations seems promising and the estimations show that thermal mining in permanently shadowed moon surfaces can produce large quantities of water furthermore the process requires 60 percent less energy and mass than excavation.