Mining the Moon


Well-Known Member
Jan 2, 2013
Hi guys I am not a scientist or anything,
but the other day a friend of mine said that we humans need to start mining resources in space and that we should start with something easy like our own moon.

Now like I said, I don't do science or anything but this got me wondering. "What will eventually happen if we continously take matter from the moon and send it back home to us?"

Could we have a Majoras Mask scenario on our hands where earth is getting heavier and the moon is getting lighter and start spiraling towards us instead of away strom us? eventually crashing down?

Again I don't know how this stuff works and can opnly speculate based on what seems logical to me.

So someone smarter than me, please feel free to answer this hypothetical question


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
Most of what is likely to be mined on the moon is helium 3 which the sun deposits on there. It is probably the main way fusion drives will happen as it fuses rather more nicely/energy positive than anything else but is rare as anything on earth owing to the whole magnetic field and atmosphere business.

Similarly most things will not be transported back to earth. More likely to be used in space infrastructure; getting things out of earth gravity is hideously expensive ( ) so if you can refine whatever you need up in space or something far lower gravity like the moon (or asteroids) then you do that. You will probably continue to send gold and other precious metals down to earth as their uses are a bit more limited and earth will probably be the home of science and technology for a while yet.

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As far as lowering mass enough for the moon to achieve escape velocity then not so much, not to mention equal and opposite reactions from launching the thing.
Increase in gravity from say a mass of the moon being added to earth (call it even around the top if you want) and somehow the moon still being there.

Even if that were the case then would not be the hardest thing to give it a nudge (rockets on the face, solar sails on the face, nudge a heavy asteroid to do a basically reverse gravity slingshot -- all tech that is doable today with no fancy future science, just at a scale not normally done) to stabilise orbit if you are operating at the level.

Now if you want to get really fun. Mercury is a hot and useless rock. That will probably be disassembled for parts to cover the sun up in a Dyson sphere. That will be a fun one for the planet names (guess there will be fewer vexing elephants).

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