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Mars as an Iron source? Answered

Could we send something to mars to strip mine the surface and gather all of the iron oxide, then using a solar mirror array direct sunlight onto the days collections and melt them into iron.  Then ship it to earth in a giant iron blob which would be transported by some kind of ship.
I assume this either hasn't been proposed or is not practical because I haven't seen anything like it before.

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caarntedd
caarntedd

9 years ago

I get my iron from green leafy vegetables.

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lemonie
lemonie

9 years ago


Currently, it's more economic to do it on this planet. I support free-thinking though, don't stop having ideas like this.

L

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rickharris
rickharris

9 years ago

Cost prohibitive - need doubtful - Indeed I doubt that Iron and steel will be the materials of the future - There are a number of carbon/aluminium composites that out perform even high grade steel - Bauxite - the ore of aluminium is the most common component in the earth's crust.

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The Skinnerz
The Skinnerz

9 years ago

Using present-day, or near future technology, it is extremely difficult and expensive to just to launch a small probe to Mars, so think about how much it would cost to get enough equipment up there to mine on an economicaly viable scale. Also, there has not yet been built a rocket large enough to get anything near to the mass of the equipment required into orbit.

Assuming the equipment has been successfully landed on Mars, and the minerals extracted, using solar energy to refine them while in orbit seems like a somewhat practical suggestion.

However, problems once again arise when it comes to re-entry. Safely landing a properly designed spacecraft, or crashing a dead satellite is still quite a risky activity, so imagine trying to land several hundred (or thousands) tons of iron in a way in which it can be recovered.

Overall, while gravity is on your side, it is unlikely to be an economical source of resources in the foreseeable future, especially as iron is still very common on earth.