Colorado School of Mines plans to launch space mining graduate program

GOLDEN, Colo. — The Colorado School of Mines plans to launch a new graduate program that could help people inhabit other planets some day.

The school is working to launch the space resources graduate program that will teach students how to explore, extract and use resources not only on Earth but also on the moon, Mars, asteroids and more.

The school said the classes will focus on scientific, technical, economic, policy and legal aspects of the field.

“In recent years there has been a growing interest by space agencies and the private sector in resources found beyond our planet such as water, gases, minerals and metals to be used in space instead of launching them from Earth,” said Angel Abbud- Madrid, director of the Mines Center for Space Resources.

“This often-called ‘living-off-the-land’ approach has been driven by an awareness that further development of space travel will be enabled through processing of materials and production of propellants in space for more affordable and flexible transportation, facilities construction and life support.”

The plan is to launch the first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary graduate program in 2018.

The first course, Space Resources Fundamentals, will be offered for the first time in the fall.

Once it’s fully implemented, the program is expected to offer post-baccalaureate certificates, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.