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Could Australia soon be mining in space?

Could Australia soon be mining in space?

For centuries, humans have dreamed of space exploration, and in the last century we have taken huge steps towards exploring more of the universe. One of the emerging possibilities of our presence in space is mining. Some elements that are rare on Earth can be found in abundance in space, making the idea of mining asteroids, and even the moon, attractive.

The future of space mining

Many experts think that we're entering a new age of space exploration, driven by commercial interests instead of largely scientific interests. In late 2015, the USA passed an act that enables space companies to sell and own natural resources from space. And earlier in February, plans were announced by Luxembourg concerning a legal framework defining commercial activities in space. This all points to a future of mining beyond the bounds of Earth.

Australia getting involved

It seems that with Australia's strong mining industry and many mining experts, we could be at the forefront of this new frontier. “Space exploration and mining face similar issues and challenges,” says Serkan Saydam, associate professor at UNSW’s Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research. “Australia has a world-leading mining industry, and 60% of mining-related innovations happen here. We have very strong mining research capabilities.”

With massive mining operations found in many remote locations throughout the country, Australian businesses are experienced in the implementation of automation, which would be necessary in the inhospitable conditions of space. Rather than humans being present at the mines, space mining would potentially involve robotic mines that are fully automated.

Out of this world service from the pros

Here at National Plant & Equipment, we supply the very best in mining equipment for both hire and sale - although we haven't sold any to space just yet! We take pride in offering our clients a comprehensive service, with fixed monthly hire fees and regular scheduled maintenance among the many benefits we offer. Get in touch with a member of our team today to see how we could help your mining project rocket to new heights of success.