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