MIRORES consortium has just launched an ESA-funded, 12-months project focusing on a viable business model for space resources prospection. MIRORES is a far-IR orbiter-based spectrometer capable of detecting sulfide (such as troilite, pyrite) and oxide (such as ilmenite) ore minerals on the Moon, Mars, and large asteroids. The MIRORES team focuses especially on the minerals that can be the source of in situ resources, such as copper, iron, titanium, oxygen, sulfur as well as energy-related commodities: helium-3 isotope, and pyrite that is recently proposed for an innovative power-generation solution.
Sulfides and ilmenite are abundant in the lunar lowlands but prospecting for the optimum concentrations is the key to securing the cash investments into the demonstration missions and the future mining craft. Landing in the richest location will be essential for the future space miners since it is impossible to relocate. MIRORES consortium will implement mapping services, pioneering both on the surface of the Moon and the commercial market.
To provide financial resources for the development of the instrument and to gain interest among the mining and investor communities MIRORES has designed the Earth version of the spectrometer. It is to be used for low-altitude UAV prospection and is suitable for arid and polar areas. Seeking new deposits on Earth has become an important topic recently, due to the melting of glaciers but especially due to the current geopolitical crisis.
The consortium includes: Institute of Geological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences, Space Research Center of Polish Academy of Sciences, SKA Polska Sp. z o.o., and the European Space Foundation. The project already involves public and corporate stakeholders interested in Earth and space applications from Poland, Germany, Estonia, and Luxembourg. On the 5th of May MIRORES is being presented at the Space Resources Week in Luxembourg. The project is carried out under ESA Business Applications: Space Resources Enabling Study.
For inquires please contact the European Space Foundation.