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Archive for the tag “Planetary Resources”

Wide open frontier, asteroid mining edition

Scientific wizards mining mineral resources from asteroids is one step to make that schedule possible. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Scientific wizards mining mineral resources from asteroids is one step to make that schedule possible. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

As a break from the depressing daily news headlines, consider the incremental steps to figure out how to mine the abundant resources on asteroids.

7/17 – Space.com – Asteroid Mining Company’s 1st Satellite Launches from Space Station – Planetary Resources had a small satellite launched from ISS. It was a three unit cubesat measuring 30 x 10 x 10 cm or 12” x 4” x 4”. This will test a variety of systems and techniques that will be needed to mine asteroids. Pulling water and mineral off asteroids is a huge step in expanded space exploration. After this 90 day experiment is over they will launch another cubesat later this year (12” x 8” x 8”) to test the next set of techniques.

Why water?

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More good stuff on the open frontiers – 8/26

Just like the wild west in the late 1800s, the frontiers of private space exploration, energy and technology are wide open. Here are a few of the articles that stretched my understanding of this amazing world we live in. A brief comment on each.

Space

8/21 – Wall Street Journal – Mining Asteroids and Exploiting the New Space Economy – Dr. K. Dean Larson – Asteroids contain water, titanium, iron, platinum, and lots of other resources needed to build things and sustain life in space. What’s the big deal?

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Interview with an asteroid miner – Yeah, I did say mining of asteroids and it’s coming from the private sector

Check out this video Profits in Space! Entrepreneurs Are Scanning the Cosmos for Big Money. Glenn Reynolds interviews Chris Lewicki, CEO and Chief Asteroid Miner at Planetary Resources.

A few highlights: Read more…

Some skepticism on mining asteroids

Count The Economist as skeptical on the plans Planetary Resources has to mine asteroids as one step in their privately funded space exploration efforts.

In their article, Going platinum, they survey some of the hurdles.

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Mining asteroids? I get it!

An organization called Planetary Resources had their big press conference yesterday announcing their plans to mine asteroids for raw materials that will facilitate private space travel.  I mentioned this here and here.

I’ve barely started reading their website, but that’s enough for me to ‘get it’.  With other work commitments I will have to get back to this later, but wanted to highlight it now.

An article in The New York Times provides more background – In Pursuit of Riches, and Travelers’ Supplies, in the Asteroid Belt

Here’s the concept in one paragraph from Planetary Resources’ web site – mind-boggling amounts of natural resources have yet to be discovered:

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Mining asteroids?

Here’s a brain stretcher for you.

People with money to back their ideas are thinking about mining asteroids for natural resources.

After you finish chuckling, consider the materials needed for extended space travel and the cost of lifting them from earth into space.  How about pulling those resources off an asteroid, since its already in space?

Like I said, it’s a stretch.

And yet…

An outfit called Planetary Resources is planning to research the idea and figure out how to pull it off.

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