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The European Space Agency (ESA) has ambitious plans about mining material on the moon by 2025, which matches the plans of other space agencies around the world in visiting the lunar surface in the years to come. Right now, the space agency is studying the prospects of its 2025 mission to the moon, with its plans including robotic equipment which should support the mining process. The lunar ore, regolith, is rich in minerals and possibly oxygen and water which could be used in supporting human life as well as production of rocket fuel in the future. Most of the moon’s surface is covered by up to 15 feet of regolith.
“The use of space resources could be a key to sustainable lunar exploration and this study is part of ESA’s comprehensive plan to make Europe a partner in global exploration in the next decade,” David Parker, the director of Human and Robotic Exploration at the ESA, said in a press release.
The ESA plans to work with the ArianeGroup, which is a Europe-based aerospace company which is capable of carrying the equipment on the mission to the moon. Its Ariane 64 launch vehicle would carry the necessary materials and equipment. According to the press release, the space agency and ArianeGroup will be working in collaboration together for the mission to the moon.
“This first contract — symbolically announced on the day of a lunar eclipse — is a milestone for ArianeGroup, which has for a long time been working on technological proposals for space logistics servicing,” ArianeGroup CEO André-Hubert Roussel said in the press release. “It is also an opportunity to recall the ability of Ariane 64 to carry out Moon missions for its institutional customers, with a payload capacity of up to 8.5 metric tons.”
Although it wasn’t specified in the press release, ESA is
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