A few years ago, it looked like a very good bet to mine asteroids and Mars.
Today, it looks like a pipe dream.
The US$10 billion space mining company Planetary Resources has launched an asteroid mining project in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, an area that has been a favourite of the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic.
The $4.6 billion mining venture aims to produce up to 200 tonnes of raw materials per year, enough to make the average American $30,000 a year, according to Planetary Resources.
The company says the project will be an “experimental” venture in which the first phase of production will be “very limited” and it will likely be around a decade before it gets going.
But it’s not just the sheer size of the project that’s a surprise.
It also looks like we’re still using the same methods as we did in the 1980s.
The mining technology we used in the past was very different to what we are using today.
The most recent technology was not mining the minerals themselves, but rather mining the carbon dioxide that the rock absorbs and then releases as the carbonate and water that make up the rock is pumped out of the rocks, according the company.
And that’s where the similarities end.
For decades, carbon dioxide was pumped into the rock from a special process known as “aerosol injection” by drilling holes in the rock to get rid of the water and CO2 trapped inside.
It wasn’t until 2009 that NASA’s Curiosity rover found that the process of injecting CO2 into rocks actually works by producing the material, according The New York Times.
And it’s the same process that is used to create the “liquid metal” that is so abundant in the Moon, Mars and asteroids.
The latest technology is also much more efficient.
It uses steam to extract the minerals.
But the problem is, steam doesn’t produce enough CO2 to get to the asteroids.
So the next step is to get a way to produce a tonne of steam and a ton of carbon dioxide from the rocks themselves.
This is where the technology of cryogenics comes in.
When a liquid is compressed by heat, it expands.
In order to grow, the gas needs to be cooled, and the pressure it is released by expands as well.
That process means that if you want to extract minerals from the Moon’s mantle, you have to heat the gas and pressure it gets.
To make the process easier, the company uses cryogenic “gas-cooled” steam, which is a mixture of liquid oxygen and gas that has the advantage of being relatively cheap.
This can be used in any process, including mining the Moon.
The first phase will be producing the gas-coolated steam.
The company says that the first step will involve drilling holes into the mantle and pumping out CO2 from the rock.
But it’s still a long way off and it could take up to 10 years before the process is up and running.
The second phase will involve extracting the carbon from the ore by using the steam from the first stage to make a “carbonate”, a gas that the CO2 is unable to release into space.
It’s a long, long way from the original idea of a “fossil fuel” that will make the planet go “green” by the end of the century.
It’ll also take another 20 years to get the mining equipment ready.
But for now, the US$4.8 billion project is looking like a huge step forward.
“This is a great example of what we can do with technology and innovation to help advance our nation’s future,” NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director Robert Lightfoot said in a statement.
“With this new technology, we will be able to harness the power of the Sun to develop a cleaner, safer, more efficient, and sustainable source of energy.”
The technology of carbon capture and storage is also one of the technologies that Planetary Resources is using to extract its carbon dioxide, which could help it achieve a much larger scale of mining.
The Australian company plans to use the technology to extract up to 15 tonnes of carbon from a total area of up to 1,500 square kilometres.
But as a matter of fact, it’s quite likely that the project won’t work in all cases.
If the project is successful, it would be the first time in history that an asteroid is extracted from the surface of the moon.
It will be a milestone for Australia.
The US$9.8-billion project has been in the works since 2010 and it is set to start producing valuable minerals in 2019.
The moon is still too far away to mine in any meaningful way, but it has helped the country develop a number of other technologies.
One is the ability to mine minerals in deep space.
The Lunar Resource Recovery Mission, also known as LRRM, is a joint project between NASA, the Australian Space Agency and the University of New South Wales.The LRRN