The company plans to start mining the moon with the European Space Agency



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Plans have been revealed to start mining the moon in the coming years.

Paris-based ArianeGroup said it hoped to send a scientific mission to our neighbors before 2025, hoping to start efforts to bring some of its surface down to Earth.

The company will work with the European Space Agency as part of a one-year contract to explore the possibility of preparing a mission to the surface. Rocket maker ArianeGroup will partner with various different organizations and ESAs to find out how the entire lunar mission can be done.

They hope that once there they will be able to mine regolith. That, in turn, can be used to power deeper missions into space – to Mars and so on.

"Regolith is an ore from which it is possible to extract water and oxygen, thus allowing an independent human presence on the Moon to be considered, capable of producing the fuel needed for further exploration missions," said ArianeGroup.

Dr David Parker, director of human and robot exploration at ESA, said that "the use of space resources can be key to sustainable lunar exploration", and that this new project is part of the European Space Agency's plan to make Europe a major part of space exploration by organizations throughout the world.

A number of countries and organizations – including NASA and the Russian and Chinese space agencies – have explored the possibility of using the Moon as a basis for future exploration of the rest of the solar system.

But the initial mission at least does not require men to return to the moon. No one has set foot on the surface since 1972, when the last Apollo mission from NASA headed there.

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