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Energy Minerals in the Solar System: Resources for the 21 st Century Energy Minerals in the Solar System: Resources for the 21 st Century Bureau of Economic.

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Presentation on theme: "Energy Minerals in the Solar System: Resources for the 21 st Century Energy Minerals in the Solar System: Resources for the 21 st Century Bureau of Economic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Energy Minerals in the Solar System: Resources for the 21 st Century Energy Minerals in the Solar System: Resources for the 21 st Century Bureau of Economic Geology John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences Bureau of Economic Geology John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences William A. Ambrose Harrison H. Schmitt Engineering Physics University of Wisconsin - Madison Engineering Physics University of Wisconsin - Madison 2008 AAPG Annual Convention April 21, 2008

2 Outline ● Strategic Goals Human settlement Transportation (propellants) Energy resources ● Strategic Goals Human settlement Transportation (propellants) Energy resources ● Solar System Resources Moon Mars Near-Earth asteroids Titan ● Solar System Resources Moon Mars Near-Earth asteroids Titan

3 Main Sources and Acknowledgments NASA Paul Spudis, The Once and Future Moon (1996) John S. Lewis, Mining the Sky (1996) Harrison Schmitt, Return to the Moon (2006) Publication was authorized by the Director, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin Publication was authorized by the Director, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin John Curchin Jet Propulsion Laboratory

4 Strategic Goals Support human settlement Manufacture of propellants for transportation Energy and materials sources for Earth imports

5 Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle >280,000 lb to Low Earth Orbit 7.4-Mlb gross liftoff weight 358 ft in length Core stage LOX/LH2 Five RS68 engines Five-segment RSRB’s Earth-departure stage LOX/LH2 Earth-LEO: 8.0 kms -1 LEO-Moon: 6.3 kms -1

6 Schmitt (2004) He-3 mining Shuttle launch with lunar propellants Moon base: materials from regolith U.S. funding commitment: $150B for 15 yr

7 Lunar Helium-3 Schmitt (2004) Lewis (1996) >270,000 km 2 minable (high- and medium-grade)

8 Schmitt (2006)

9 Lunar He-3 Distribution Johnson et al. (1999) T T OP Oceanus Procellarum Tranquillitatis

10 Lunar Hydrogen North Pole Lunar Hydrogen North Pole Epithermal neutron flux Feldman et al. (1998) Feldman et al. (1998) 1.5° Bussey and Spudis (2006) Bussey and Spudis (2006) Both poles: ~6.6 billion tons of ice Shadowed area within 12° latitude of north pole: 7,500 km 2

11 Solar Illumination North Pole Solar Illumination North Pole % Illumination 15 km Solar power 100 0 90-99 75-90 60-75 45-60 Bussey and Spudis (2006) Bussey and Spudis (2006)

12 Water Atmosphere Ice caps Permafrost Water Atmosphere Ice caps Permafrost Gorgonum Chaos: Mars Odyssey CO 2, CH 4 clathrates Ice caps Permafrost CO 2, CH 4 clathrates Ice caps Permafrost 200 m USGS Mars Propellants North Pole - MOLA Max. thickness 3 km Volume ~1.2 million km 3 Max. thickness 3 km Volume ~1.2 million km 3

13 Water on Mars Holden Delta 7 km Wax River Delta Wax River Delta 5 km (H. Roberts)

14 Earth: Northwest territories Mars: Plains near Lyot Crater Emma Pike Mars Global Surveyor 200 m Methane on Mars Atmosphere: 10 ppb Methane on Mars Atmosphere: 10 ppb Exhumed Permafrost

15 Methane on Mars Atmosphere: 10 ppb Methane on Mars Atmosphere: 10 ppb Hale-Bopp Malcolm Ellis Hale-Bopp Malcolm Ellis Comet impacts Comet impacts Microbial activity Microbial activity ALH84001 McKay (1996) ALH84001 McKay (1996)

16 Methane on Mars Atmosphere: 10 ppb Methane on Mars Atmosphere: 10 ppb Igneous activity Ceraunius Tholus 40 km Weathered olivine Nili Fossae 20-32 >45 Olivine compositions (% FeO)

17 Asteroids NEA’s Asteroids NEA’s Armagh University Armagh University Non-Earth approaching Non-Earth approaching Amors NEA’s

18 Asteroid Compositional Types C-Type 75% of known asteroids CI and CM chondrites: volatiles: 5-20% water 253 Mathilde S-Type 951 Gaspra 15% of known asteroids dominant in inner belt: olivine, pyroxene, Fe M-Type 10% of known asteroids Fe, Ni, Co, Pt-group 3554 Amun

19 3554 Amun — NEA Smallest known M asteroid—300× metal in lunar regolith Codrin Bucur ~2 km diameter (size of a typical open-pit mine) Mass: 30 billion tons Market value Fe and Ni: $8,000 billion Co: $6,000 billion Pt-group: $6,000 billion Market value Fe and Ni: $8,000 billion Co: $6,000 billion Pt-group: $6,000 billion Equivalent asset $10 million per ton to launch from Earth, or $300,000,000 billion Equivalent asset $10 million per ton to launch from Earth, or $300,000,000 billion

20 Potential for in situ propellant production Economic Factors (+) Large market for mass-in-orbit materials (metals, construction, volatiles) (-) Small number of NEA’s have been spectrally classified Mining techniques require feasibility testing Target accessibility depends on orbital variability http://www.celestia.info/

21 Asteroid-Mining Technology Strip mining Orbital transfer Chesley Bonestell Bonsor (2000)

22 Titan Atmospheric profile Temperature (K) Altitude (km) Cassini/ Huygens mission Cassini/ Huygens mission Ethane/methane lakes Ethane production and fallout Ethane production and fallout Ethane mist Methane haze Ethane/methane/N 2 ocean H 2 O ice and acetylene

23 Titan: Cryovolcanism Art View: Michael Carroll Lopes et al. (2005) 100 km Ganesha Macula

24 Titan: Hydrocarbons Clark et al. (2007) HC’s concentrated in low-albedo terrains Benzene (5.05-micron band) 100 km

25 He-3, ice, regolith Summary Metals, volatiles Ice, CH 4, N, CO 2 HC, ice


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