By Jeff Todd
GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado School of Mines is taking its namesake out of this world. This semester the school started offering certificates, master’s degrees and even doctorates in space mining.
“I want to make the first gas station in space,” said master’s Student Hunter Williams. “We’re going to take water from the lunar poles, and we’re going to use the moon as a jumping off point to other places like Mars to some of the moons of Jupiter.”
Williams is one of the only students enrolled in Space Resources on campus in Golden; many others are around the world. The classes are conducted online.
“There’s no specific text book. This is a field being created as we speak,” said Dr. Angel Abbud-Madrid, the Director for Space Resources at Colorado School of Mines. “You need your geology. You need engineering, science, economics, everything that is required.”
While the possibilities for space mining are endless, the most realistic first resource needed is water.
“Water is, we call it, the oil of space. Because once you have water you split it into hydrogen and oxygen and that’s your rocket fuel,” said Dr. Abbud-Madrid.
“Space resources are going to allow us to go farther than we’ve ever imagined into this solar system,” said Williams. “There’s nobody prepared education-wise to take the new jobs that are going to be opening up in the next five years.”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.