Space mining the next frontier for mines

The Colorado School of Mines confirmed in mid-May the launching of an undergraduate degree that focuses on mining in space, possibly the first degree of its kind.

The program, which also includes three minor tracks, has been designed for those who seek to work on the front line of future mining projects. Classes begin in the fall.

Jamal Rostami, an associate professor in the Department of Mining Engineering, said there are three core courses at the heart of the program: Introduction to Mining Process, Planetary Geology and Space Resource Planning. Other electives, such as legalities, policy and economics of mining for planetary resources, are also included.

“Space exploration presents a lot of technical challenges that are new to us,” noted Rostami.

“It definitely requires out-of-box thinking and using the enduring knowledge to solve these new problems that we’ve never had to deal with … like working in zero gravity, extreme temperatures, working in a vacuum.

“These are the challenges that now we have to come up with some sort of solution. We better think of it now before we go out there and stuck with these problems.”

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