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October 31, 2010

Space Manufacturing conference - robotics for space manufacturing

Parabolic Arc and Hobbyspace coverage

Greg Baiden, Laurentian University, Penguin Automated Systems
“Lunar Mining: Taking the Best of Terrestrial Mining and Fitting it on the Moon”

– 3 years ago, CSA came to him asking how to put a mine on the moon
– Canadians (and Scandinavians) are really really good at mining stuff
– to be profitable, need materials in mass…not small amounts of things..
– galactic cosmic radiation is a show stopper
– 80 cm of regolith maximizes production of secondary radiation particles
– need at least 2 meters of regolith cover to protect miners
– study looked at what could be done with subsurface habitation and do it simply (four pieces of equipment)
– mechanical cutting of rock requires gravity — a lot of gravity to do it on a large scale — unless you intend to blast it
– mining industry doesn’t work in parts per million or billion…work in percentages — perhaps 3 percent of material processed will be useful ore
-Telemining – Technology of robotics and information age to change the face of mining on earth and will in space too

Low percentages / parts per million need to use things like insitu leaching. Using acid to get desired material out.



Mitchell Weiss, Seegrid Corp.
“Application of Visually Guided, Autonomous Robots to Space Mining and Construction”

Seegrid is a spinoff of Carnegie Mellon that specializes in autonomous robots
– Industrial mobile robot that has everything onboard
– Try to follow Moore’s Law down the curve
– Takes about $3 an hour to operate a truck, but another $25 an hour for the human to guide it (In Europe, it’s about $40 an hour)
– autonomous robots do pretty well in warehouses
– get pictures from satellites from radar and photos…will run those pictures through a system that will allow for autonomous operations for mining by creating 3-D models of the area

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