Space Resources

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Exploration Methods and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 3372

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Machine Design and Research, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: mining equipment; mining transformation; structural engineering; mechanical engineering; finite element analysis (FEA); testing and measurements; vibrations; modal analysis; signal processing; R&D
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Machine Design and Research, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: finite element analysis (FEA); structural engineering; composite materials; testing and measurements; R&D; sounding rockets; satelite mechanical structures; orbital mechanics; space mission analysis; artificial intelligence; machine learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent years have brought great development of space technologies and space industry. Its popularity and accessibility lead to the real talk  about extraction of space resources. Net value estimates suggest huge potential in nearby space objects which with high possibility contain resources valuable and rare at Earth resources.

The challenge in this area is the development of minerals identification technologies, extraction, handling and  processing technologies etc. Those technologies must face the problems of remote areas operation, space environment, low gravity, power supply limitations and many others. Another challenge is the material to excavate which may  differt form the Earth’s rock/soil morphology.

Besides of technological challenges during mining process considerations has to include transportation and re-orbiting of source space object. Cost analysis and current space technology limitations should be taken account.

This Special Issue is a  call for research papers, review articles, feasibility studies of challenging, cutting edge concepts of extraction technologies, identification/mapping technologies of the resources in remote areas and all related techniques and technologies which are targeting the space resources topic. Space mining, due to increasing consumption of special-purpose elements and rare-earth elements looks to be very promising and probable industry of the future.

Dr. Damian Pietrusiak
Dr. Marek Sawicki
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • space resources
  • space mining
  • remote sensing and searching
  • minerals extraction
  • minerals processing
  • minerals mapping
  • smart mining
  • re-orbiting space objects
  • space mining mission profile
  • on-site production
  • bio-mining

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

12 pages, 2268 KiB  
Article
Metal and Oxide Sublimation from Lunar Regolith: A Kinetics Study
by Matthew G. Shaw, Matthew S. Humbert, Geoffrey A. Brooks, M. Akbar Rhamdhani, Alan R. Duffy and Mark I. Pownceby
Minerals 2023, 13(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13010079 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2414
Abstract
When considering the extraction of metals from lunar regolith for use in space, one reductive method of interest is vacuum thermal dissociation. Given the high vacuum environment on the Moon, the sub-liquidus operation of such a process, i.e., sublimation, warrants investigation. In the [...] Read more.
When considering the extraction of metals from lunar regolith for use in space, one reductive method of interest is vacuum thermal dissociation. Given the high vacuum environment on the Moon, the sub-liquidus operation of such a process, i.e., sublimation, warrants investigation. In the current work, the kinetics of the vacuum sublimation of the more volatile major oxides found in the lunar regolith, Na2O, K2O, and FeO, are evaluated. Two distinct factors are accounted for in the current work: the change in the evaporation flux due to temperature; and the reduction in available surface area for evaporation due to sintering of the feedstock. Surface area change due to the sintering of compressed LMS-1 regolith simulant pellets was quantified via a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller analysis. The surface area of the samples was measured to vary from 3.29 m2/g in the unsintered sample, to 1.04 m2/g in the samples sintered at 800 °C, and down to 0.09 m2/g in the sample sintered at 1150 °C. Evaporation flux was calculated using the Hertz–Knudsen–Langmuir equation using saturated vapor pressures predicted from the FactSage thermochemical package and verified against Knudsen Effusion Mass Spectroscopy data from tests conducted on lunar regolith sample #12022. The combination of these studies resulted in the conclusion that no local maxima in evaporation rate below the melting point was found for the current system, as such the highest rate of sublimation was determined to be 1200 °C for all species, at temperatures of 1200 °C and above, partial melting of the material occurs. The predicted maximum rate of sublimation for the species Fe, Na, and K at 1200 °C was 0.08, 1.38, and 1.02 g/h/g of regolith, respectively. It is noted that significant variation was seen between FactSage predictions of saturated vapor pressures and the measured values. Future work generating detailed thermochemical databases to predict the behavior of complex systems similar in composition to lunar regolith would benefit the accuracy of similar kinetic studies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Resources)
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