We’re About to Find Out How Well Biomining Works in Space

Mining is traditionally thought of as an activity that utilizes picks and shovels, or in more modern times, huge machines that can tear apart entire mountainsides in minutes.  Industrial might isn’t the only way to rip apart rock though.  A scalable and much more environmentally friendly way to access the materials mining seeks to extract is to use microbes.  Such techniques are already widely used in terrestrial mining operations.  But recently, a team led by the University of Edinburgh have launched an asteroid mining experiment using microbes on the International Space Station (ISS).

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