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Old 04-24-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
ZenGum
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Asteroid mining

From the BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17827347
Quote:
Details have been emerging of the plan by billionaire entrepreneurs to mine asteroids for their resources.

The multi-million-dollar plan would use robotic spacecraft to squeeze chemical components of fuel and minerals such as platinum and gold out of the rocks.

The founders include film director and explorer James Cameron as well as Google's chief executive Larry Page and its executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

[edit move paragraph] The company, known as Planetary Resources, is also backed by space tourism pioneer Eric Anderson, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, former US presidential candidate Ross Perot and veteran Nasa astronaut Tom Jones.

They even aim to create a fuel depot in space by 2020.
Much more at the link.

Space mining is presently insanely expensive, at least partly because you need to lift your fuel all the way with you. So now the plan is to capture asteroids, extract water, convert this to hydrogen and oxygen, and stock it at an orbiting fuel depot, thereby making space mining viable.

Well, that's the plan.

I approve, although I am quite doubtful that it will ever actually pay for itself, if they can actually make it all work. It's worth a shot, and it might even lead to an awesome interplanetary future.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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Cool idea but first some body needs to clean up the junk flying around this planet , they could sort , compact and send it to the moon in compacted chunks , designate a grid square or 4 for the impacts , and you have a scrap yard to work from when we finaly colonize the moon
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
infinite monkey
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If James Cameron has something to do with it it's going to suck eggs. Two thumbs down your asteroid.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #4
SteveDallas
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I hope they don't abandon the Space Elevator idea.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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I agree.

The valuable stuff "in space" at the moment is water for its usefulness as fuel and air for people. And because it's heavy and it's already up there. With the development of a space elevator the cost of getting heavy stuff up there, into orbit will be much less. This will be an enormous boon to space traffic.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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Sounds great. I'm in.....
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
tw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
Space mining is presently insanely expensive, at least partly because you need to lift your fuel all the way with you. So now the plan is to capture asteroids, extract water, convert this to hydrogen and oxygen, and stock it at an orbiting fuel depot, thereby making space mining viable.
Let's put numbers to it. Only speculation says platinum or iridium are in asteroids. A rich deposit is maybe 2% of the material. It costs about $0.5 million just to transport seven gallon of water that far up. Add more expenses to take the energy out of something doing in excess of 17,000 MPH so that it can land. How many dollars is a pound of platinum worth?

The space elevator is nice in theory. Meanwhile the promising technology is to replace rockets with planes. So use oxygen in the air rather than carry it. To use wings for lift. As demonstrate by Rutan? when that group won an X-prize.

So a mining colony is setup on an asteroid. Then the colony survives and mines until the asteroid returns from its long orbit. To send a package to earth. We could not even keep a Martian Rover running through a northern Martian winter for a full year. The proposed task is daunting - even if something worthwhile exists to mine.

It is only a proposal along with another 10,000 that were equally viable and only based in speculations. But would make a good science fiction murder mystery.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveDallas View Post
I hope they don't abandon the Space Elevator idea.
Better get rid of terrorists first.
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