back to article Airbus to help build Mexican Moon-mining automata

Airbus and the Mexican Space Agency (MSA) have agreed to collaborate on tech to extract resources on the Moon. The aerospace company will work with MSA and a startup called Dereum Labs to develop "an end-to-end process from regolith identification and capture to extraction of resources". The three plan to create a "ground …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Ariane were planning a public/private jaunt to the moon to arrive some time in 2023 so perhaps this is a part of that plan.

  2. jake Silver badge

    What resources on the moon ...

    ... can be extracted profitably?

    Serious question. In order to profit, one must have a market. Not much market on the moon, and will not be for a long, long time. If ever. As for shipping bits of moon down to Earth for sale, what up there is worth so much more than what we have here on Earth to justify the cost of shipping?

    Makes zero sense.

    1. ClockworkOwl
      WTF?

      Re: What resources on the moon ...

      Well I don't know about bringing resources back, but there may well be a business in transporting Underpants Gnomes to the moon...

      1: Get to moon

      2: Get moon

      3:?

      4: PROFIT!!!

      Although, as the costs fall, there will be a short window of time where the price of 'Moonrock' here will justify the cost of going and getting it...

      1. Irongut Silver badge

        Re: What resources on the moon ...

        Surely an expedition to visit Jambu and the other whales on the moon would make more sense?

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Re: What resources on the moon ...

      Depends on your definition of "profit".

      If you have a base on the moon any resources that can be sourced from the moon rather than dragged up from Earth is a plus on the profit/loss account.

      This is what it's about, resources to keep moon base occupants alive as well as fuel for rockets either back to Earth or out to Mars.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: What resources on the moon ...

        > If you have a base on the moon

        That's a big "if" there... While we've been daydreaming about those for half a century now, AFAIK autumn 2021 there is no real money put aside to build one anytime soon, so how can you sell a business plan based on that money?

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: What resources on the moon ...

          It's a bit of a chicken/egg situation.

          Without exploitable resources available on the moon a moon base is not viable - shipping water & food up from the Earth would be unsustainable so the first step must be to develop systems to exploit the available resources.

          Only then will a moon base be possible.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: What resources on the moon ...

            The egg here is money: Without the egg, no chicken, i.e., there must first be a solid, guaranteed budget for Moon bases to be able to create any commercial Moon base building structure. "Build it and they will come" doesn't work here...

    3. Def Silver badge

      Re: What resources on the moon ...

      There are some reasonably new (discovered within the last decade) steel making processes that produce oxygen as a by product.

      Given the Moon has a similar geological makeup to the Earth, being able to produce both steel and oxygen at the same time would provide more than enough incentive to setup shop up there. Producing new space ships on the Moon, for example, with its much lower gravity makes much more sense than building them on Earth.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: What resources on the moon ...

        Moon rust!

    4. adam 40 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: What resources on the moon ...

      They will be mining regolith to make bricks for Trump's wall.

    5. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: What resources on the moon ...

      > Makes zero sense.

      You beat me to it. Indeed, it only makes sense if there are budgets for Moon bases to tap into, and while there is talk about building some one day, none are yet seriously planned.

      The whole project smells funny. Ad driven? To pay something as expensive as sending stuff to the Moon? Who are they kidding? Where will those billion-making ads appear anyway?

      The amount of wishful/magical thinking and the total lack of technical specifications seem to indicate it's marketing-driven (the most likely explanations are money laundering or bait & switch).

    6. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: What resources on the moon ...

      "Makes zero sense."

      Could well be, but that is what they want to find out about, not that many bumps in the road from the Moon to Earth when you think about it.

    7. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: What resources on the moon ...

      Also not sure if exploiting the moon minerals is even legal. The USA got there first and are willing to let others; like China go and take samples.

      But who owns the moon anyway? Who can give the digging permits?

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    Dereum

    Sounds like the name of a crypto-funny-money scheme.

    Unfortunate.

  4. RobThBay

    MSA?

    Mexico has a space agency?

    1. Ganso

      Re: MSA?

      Sí:

      https://www.gob.mx/aem

      But I can imagine that for the current regime, this has the absolute lowest priority. El Presidente is not known as a science/technology advocate...

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