FleaPlus writes "Water ice was recently discovered on the large asteroid 24 Themis, and Space.com discusses proposals for producing fuel from asteroid ice. NASA and the President recently announced plans for robotic precursor missions to asteroids (and a human mission by 2025), as well as a funding boost for R&D to develop techniques like in-situ resource utilization. Since most of the mass of a beyond-Earth mission is fuel, refueling in orbit would be a huge mass- and cost-saver for space exploration (especially if fuel can be produced in space), but a large unknown is how to effectively extract water in an environment lacking gravity."
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