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Will Humanity Mine The Moon For Titanium?

11 Oct 2011, 19:41 UTC
Will Humanity Mine The Moon For Titanium?
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Apparently silver isn’t the only thing Earth’s nearest neighbor harbors upon the surface. Astronomers have discovered another element which could aid lunar settlers in their quest to conquer the Moon.
A new map of the Moon has revealed an abundance of titanium ore that is up to 10 times richer than on Earth, a finding that could one day lead to a lunar mining colony, astronomers said on Friday. [...]

“Lunar titanium is mostly found in the mineral ilmenite, a compound containing iron, titanium and oxygen,” they said.

“Future miners living and working on the Moon could break down ilmenite to liberate these elements. (Moon Daily)
Aside from the obvious uses of titanium (i.e. planes, rockets, buildings, etc.), the strong light weight element is also the metal of choice for surgical implants (as titanium is able to remain harmlessly within the human body for decades).
Although titanium alone will not convince humanity for the need to settle the Moon, it’s presence (along with the discovery of water and the ability to extract oxygen from lunar soil) will probably add to the case of inhabiting Luna first before our species decides to conquer more ambitious objects (like ...

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