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(Discover)   Space firm about to make a major announcement regarding new project that will "add trillions of dollars to the global GDP." The Bad Astronomer take a stab at what it is. Hint: It's asteroid mining   (blogs.discovermagazine.com) divider line 52
    More: Spiffy, gross world product, GDP, Phil Plait, planetary scientists, TED Talks, iridiums, capital cities, asteroids  
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4055 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Apr 2012 at 11:58 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-04-20 03:24:51 AM  
1 votes:

gozar_the_destroyer: OK, to all the EVE geeks on here:

The game is easy to mine to the point you never need to pay for the game..or anything in it.


False.

\now STFU about your ships that you either grinded for or cheeted for
It's not my fault you didn't secure the corp hanger permissions, besides it's more fun when it's grand theft jump freighter. Legitimate game mechanic. Deal with it.

\\you can run multiple instances of the game on a single machine! Most people run mining bots!
Russian drone farmer like typing detected.

\\\your economy got crashed by a trusted bank in you game too
Right so your crying tasty tears that a hardcore came full of psychotic backstabbers went on a psychotic backstabbing frenzy? You invested in it didn't you? Go cry more, maybe the carebears in 1.0 space will,give a damn.
2012-04-19 07:46:29 PM  
1 votes:

DVD:

Upgrade to a Tormenter, it holds more per trip. (Amarr and low slots, ya know...) I can even build you a nice Vexor when you get the skills up. XD


Osprey. With maximum carebear it can actually out mine a low end Covetor. But please folks, your Hulk has mid-slots, try using them with a pith booster, boost amp and two hardners. You still won't take a Nightmare to the face (long story short, I had RR gear and was going to rep him and open on the rats, just as they warped so the only thing that was locked when my finger finished moving was the utterly untanked Hulk. At optimal. With imperial MF. In Tech 2 Tachyons. Pop. Yay for 0.0 and no Concord) but it'd at least stop the comedy kill mails during Hulkageddon.
2012-04-19 07:20:54 PM  
1 votes:

The Bad Astronomer: Ah, subby, you gave it away.

Remember, I'm speculating. But it fits. I'm seeing other suggestions, but it's that "natural resources" thing that keeps coming back.


Well, assuming they can get the hmmm... "gravity tug"? pottering around and ready for towing. It seems like a good thing to do. Hell at least we wouldn't be boosting hundreds of tons of metal in to LEO any time we wanted to build something; we'd be using the asteroids resources instead.

Ok, still going to need to boost the mining, refining, factories up but at least that's a one off event.

*fingers crossed* we might actually be getting some movement to escape this damn gravity well.
2012-04-19 02:58:35 PM  
1 votes:

To The Escape Zeppelin!: TheShavingofOccam123: The Pacific Trash Island is said to range in size from 270,000 sq. miles to 5.8 million sq. miles. So let's start mining asteroids. Yeah! Then we can start on the Moon!

I'm confused, are you for or against mining asteroids? Because I use the same argument for it. Outside of reducing the human population by billions, moving major industry off planet is the only long term solution to environmental degradation. And who cares if we pollute on the moon?


Are from 2149A.D, by chance?
2012-04-19 01:54:12 PM  
1 votes:

OgreMagi: Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process [rare earths] in this country.


As others have pointed out, this is untrue. It's also not an accurate picture of what happened to domestic rare earth production. That has more to do with China's flooding the global market and undercutting other suppliers than it does with onerous environmental regulations (although the restrictions on Mountain Pass mining did contribute).
2012-04-19 10:06:03 AM  
1 votes:

vossiewulf: edmo: I'm really looking forward to hearing their plan to bring all that ore back to Earth, heck, even returning decent quantities of refined products.

Don't see how it's even in sight of being financially viable, and that doesn't even begin to address the technical challenges and dangers... I mean, de-orbiting sufficient masses of metal to make the trip worthwhile? Yeeha

It will be financially and technically possible one day, but we have to build the elevator first.


Get the mineral rights now to ensure your family stays in the 1%
2012-04-19 09:57:22 AM  
1 votes:

OgreMagi: Mentat: OgreMagi: The US has sources of rare earths. Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process it in this country. With China's recent announcement that they were going to discontinue all exports, you would think there'd be a change in policy here since so many industries rely on the rare earths. China's announcement is equivalent to saying, "we're going to fark your high tech industries out of existence, yankie running dogs!"

Have you seen the effects of acid mine drainage?

Have you seen the effects of exporting jobs to China?


If this is what you want your water to look like

img338.imageshack.us

Then mine away.
2012-04-19 09:24:12 AM  
1 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe: Scam artists.
/You Space Nutters need to get your Haloperidol shots.


Good god, can you get another schtick? Don't you get tired of pooping "Space bad! Longevity good!" in every thread?
2012-04-19 09:22:04 AM  
1 votes:

Sim Tree: There's a book called "Mining the Sky" I've had suggested to me. (New window)


There's also album called "Blue Sky Mining" which I'd suggest as well.
2012-04-19 08:21:24 AM  
1 votes:
Prometheus viral marketing campaign. Book it, done.
2012-04-19 07:37:36 AM  
1 votes:

lordargent: That's why I said to deBeers it.

// keep tons of it in a warehouse, sell it as needed.


Well maybe not. If they can get vast quantities of it from space cheaply then it might be worth them selling it at a price that is cheap enough to make earth based mines unprofitable. Then they take out the competition, buy the Earth mines cheap and ramp up prices again. Then buy a Republican president to make sure no anti-trust lawsuits come in to break up that monopoly.
2012-04-19 07:26:28 AM  
1 votes:
There's a book called "Mining the Sky" I've had suggested to me. (New window)
2012-04-19 07:11:02 AM  
1 votes:
This is the only job I have ever wanted. Seriously, ever since I can remember. I would leave tomorrow. Can I apply directly to the firm?
2012-04-19 06:23:19 AM  
1 votes:
To the people wondering about the effect of adding weight to the Earth through mining other planets and asteroids and shipping stuff here: How about all the space junk in orbit, which is basically weight taken OFF the planet and sent into space?
2012-04-19 05:17:40 AM  
1 votes:
SN1987a goes boom: How much will it go for after you add a few new tons to the market all at once?

That's why I said to deBeers it.

// keep tons of it in a warehouse, sell it as needed.

// make a catchy ad campaign to drive up demand by convincing people that titanium products are the hot new thing.

I'm thinking of a hot little number where they make a sports car with a titanium engine and compare it to the SR71 Blackbird.

"Heat. Heat kills vehicles.
But the SR71 Blackbird is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 2500 miles per hour, because 85% of it is made of titanium, one of the strongest, most heat resistant metals on the planet.

That's why the new BMW Shadow has an engine and drivetrain that are made out of pure titanium.

You may not be able to fly a blackbird, but we offer you the next best thing.

Landing in your garage in 2030.
2012-04-19 05:07:13 AM  
1 votes:
If we're going to be mining in outer space, we're going to be needing drinking songs Link
2012-04-19 04:15:31 AM  
1 votes:
Ugh, enough with the space elevator pipe dreams.... millions of tons of nanotubes, with a center of mass beyond GEO. That is absurd. Phil, please do a debunking, they'll listen to you :) If there ever is a space elevator, it will not be launched from Earth, it will be made with materials from space after manufacturing capacity is already established up there.

Railgun-launched ramjet will be nice, but there's plenty of room for good economics with conventional rockets once SpaceX proves to the rest of the world that first stages can be made fully reusable.

Asteroid mining - metals, who could turn those down? But which asteroid? We haven't surveyed any of the right ones well enough to actually know the ground truth - are Diamandis et al proposing to do that mission? Big whoop. Genuine resource recovery missions would still be another decade or more away. We don't even know how the things are cemented together!

Lunar mining - there's not a heck of a lot on the moon (that we know of) that we really want. (and before someone starts about 3He - Helium fusion is still far from ready. Also correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it something like excavating 1-meter depth of regolith over the ENTIRE lunar surface yields only enough for 300 years of current US energy use?) Sure, there's water for fuel (and drinking, I suppose), but rocket fuel on the moon only makes sense as a mean to an end, and that end is sure not lunar (nor even Martian) real estate - there's plenty of far more accessible square footage of desert, subsurface, ocean, and sky left to settle here on Earth.

Space solar - solar energy is a natural resource, though the wording may be a bit of a stretch. But the business case doesn't work yet, right? Well, not with rocket-launched photovoltaics - but what if you throw ISRU into the mix - and that could be lunar or asteroid. A lunar factory for solar power makes more sense to me than anything else - much easier to automate when you have 3 seconds vs 30 minutes of delay and it's actually reasonable to send maintenance missions whenever the need crops up. Then again Diamandis probably is the type to salivate over for asteroid metals.
2012-04-19 03:13:25 AM  
1 votes:

OgreMagi: Get back to me when they are actually in operation. There have been a number of failed attempts to get the rare earth operations back in production. They have all failed.


Can I get back to you in October? Of last year?

Molycorp, backed by $1 billion in private equity from Resource Capital Funds in Denver, began selling rare earths at its California mine in October and soon after announced third-quarter net income of $43.7 million...

What's it like to be so damn ignorant?
2012-04-19 03:04:45 AM  
1 votes:

OgreMagi: dsmith42: OgreMagi: jack21221: Do any asteroids exist that are rich in rare earth elements? The world's supply of these elements is a bit tight right now, and China controls what little supply we have.

The US has sources of rare earths. Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process it in this country. With China's recent announcement that they were going to discontinue all exports, you would think there'd be a change in policy here since so many industries rely on the rare earths. China's announcement is equivalent to saying, "we're going to fark your high tech industries out of existence, yankie running dogs!"

You know how I know that you have no idea what you are talking about?

"A major U.S. mine for rare earth metals has gone back into operation, adding a much needed source to offset China's control of the unique group of materials necessary to build tech gadgets like smart phones and laptops."

"By the end of 2012, the company is aiming to produce 20,000 tons of rare earths, likely enough to start meeting U.S. demand. Molycorp also plans on breaking ground to the construction of a new rare earths manufacturing facility at the site next month."

Dec 27, 2010

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/214938/us_rare_earth_mi n e_resumes_active_mining.html

Get back to me when they are actually in operation. There have been a number of failed attempts to get the rare earth operations back in production. They have all failed.


Their internal links aren't working for me, but they appear to at least be crushing ore right now.
2012-04-19 02:57:57 AM  
1 votes:
I don't know of any experimental robotic mines being set up on Earth yet, so no. Does anyone know if there are any? You'd need machines that had some degree of self-replication, that would be capable of setting up the complex plant that you'd require to properly exploit the material you were mining. And the priority would be to exploit the materials that you'd require for replication and for propelling stuff back to Earth.

All of this is a far cry from our current picture of mining and manufacturing, which is multi-site and relatively human-labour-intense. Consider, too, that not many governments would like the idea of creating a version of mining that didn't employ large numbers of people in semi-skilled work.
2012-04-19 02:53:07 AM  
1 votes:
As long as we are speculating on a space elevator being built to ferry this mined asteroid ore back to Earth, wouldn't a tethered fixed-orbit monstrous solar panel array be more plausible?
2012-04-19 02:46:58 AM  
1 votes:
2012-04-19 02:46:38 AM  
1 votes:

dsmith42: OgreMagi: jack21221: Do any asteroids exist that are rich in rare earth elements? The world's supply of these elements is a bit tight right now, and China controls what little supply we have.

The US has sources of rare earths. Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process it in this country. With China's recent announcement that they were going to discontinue all exports, you would think there'd be a change in policy here since so many industries rely on the rare earths. China's announcement is equivalent to saying, "we're going to fark your high tech industries out of existence, yankie running dogs!"

You know how I know that you have no idea what you are talking about?

"A major U.S. mine for rare earth metals has gone back into operation, adding a much needed source to offset China's control of the unique group of materials necessary to build tech gadgets like smart phones and laptops."

"By the end of 2012, the company is aiming to produce 20,000 tons of rare earths, likely enough to start meeting U.S. demand. Molycorp also plans on breaking ground to the construction of a new rare earths manufacturing facility at the site next month."

Dec 27, 2010

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/214938/us_rare_earth_mi n e_resumes_active_mining.html


Get back to me when they are actually in operation. There have been a number of failed attempts to get the rare earth operations back in production. They have all failed.
2012-04-19 02:44:27 AM  
1 votes:

TheShavingofOccam123: The Neanderthals lived for 300,000 years and never ONCE invented a nuclear weapon. How backward they were.


Perhaps you have not noticed. They are extinct.
2012-04-19 02:44:22 AM  
1 votes:

The Bad Astronomer: Ah, subby, you gave it away.

Remember, I'm speculating. But it fits. I'm seeing other suggestions, but it's that "natural resources" thing that keeps coming back.


There aren't a whole lot of alternatives if they're talking trillions of dollars in GDP, but the space elevator makes so much sense that the only question is, does it come before or after the first asteroid harvest?
2012-04-19 02:43:25 AM  
1 votes:

Mentat: OgreMagi: The US has sources of rare earths. Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process it in this country. With China's recent announcement that they were going to discontinue all exports, you would think there'd be a change in policy here since so many industries rely on the rare earths. China's announcement is equivalent to saying, "we're going to fark your high tech industries out of existence, yankie running dogs!"

Have you seen the effects of acid mine drainage?


Have you seen the effects of exporting jobs to China?
2012-04-19 02:36:44 AM  
1 votes:

SN1987a goes boom: lordargent: Mentat: It's not, unless you have the space based infrastructure to exploit it. Even if by some chance they were able to bring any significant amount of ore back that would be profitable, it would crash the commodities markets.

Not if you deBeers it.

/how much does a ton few tons of platinum go for these days anyway?

How much will it go for after you add a few new tons to the market all at once?


Sure, but think of the new uses that could be discovered once there is a bit more to experiment with!

/Why is it always money with you people?
//Only half trolling
2012-04-19 02:34:35 AM  
1 votes:

lordargent: Mentat: It's not, unless you have the space based infrastructure to exploit it. Even if by some chance they were able to bring any significant amount of ore back that would be profitable, it would crash the commodities markets.

Not if you deBeers it.

/how much does a ton few tons of platinum go for these days anyway?


How much will it go for after you add a few new tons to the market all at once?
2012-04-19 02:33:19 AM  
1 votes:

OgreMagi: jack21221: Do any asteroids exist that are rich in rare earth elements? The world's supply of these elements is a bit tight right now, and China controls what little supply we have.

The US has sources of rare earths. Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process it in this country. With China's recent announcement that they were going to discontinue all exports, you would think there'd be a change in policy here since so many industries rely on the rare earths. China's announcement is equivalent to saying, "we're going to fark your high tech industries out of existence, yankie running dogs!"


You know how I know that you have no idea what you are talking about?

"A major U.S. mine for rare earth metals has gone back into operation, adding a much needed source to offset China's control of the unique group of materials necessary to build tech gadgets like smart phones and laptops."

"By the end of 2012, the company is aiming to produce 20,000 tons of rare earths, likely enough to start meeting U.S. demand. Molycorp also plans on breaking ground to the construction of a new rare earths manufacturing facility at the site next month."

Dec 27, 2010

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/214938/us_rare_earth_mi n e_resumes_active_mining.html
2012-04-19 01:57:47 AM  
1 votes:

To The Escape Zeppelin!: I'm confused, are you for or against mining asteroids? Because I use the same argument for it. Outside of reducing the human population by billions, moving major industry off planet is the only long term solution to environmental degradation. And who cares if we pollute on the moon?


We can pollute outer space all we want. The universe will just laugh at us and call us names. Heck, we could sell orbital colonies the garbage floating in our oceans as raw material.
2012-04-19 01:57:06 AM  
1 votes:

To The Escape Zeppelin!: And who cares if we pollute on the moon?


I know it's inevitable that we do to near space what we have done to the Earth. However...

1969: We came in peace for all mankind.
20??: We came for the cheese.

Some of us care very much that the Moon is protected much like Antarctica was supposed to be.

All over this country state parks and other preserves are being sold off. It's all about the dollar. It's not about expanding horizons or gaining enlightenment. The old lady has dropped her handbag and there aren't any cops around.

That's it. I'm having a brew.
2012-04-19 01:53:04 AM  
1 votes:

Ranger Joe: If you mine an asteroid, you have to get the material back to Earth somehow, right? If you have the ability to successfully bring the material down to a designated area, you also have the ability to drop rocks from orbit on unfriendly capitols, too. Think of it as the ultimate bunker buster.

Big boom, no radiation. Heck, if you did it right, you could even make it look like an accident.


upload.wikimedia.org


/Hello, Man
2012-04-19 01:47:01 AM  
1 votes:
If you mine an asteroid, you have to get the material back to Earth somehow, right? If you have the ability to successfully bring the material down to a designated area, you also have the ability to drop rocks from orbit on unfriendly capitols, too. Think of it as the ultimate bunker buster.

Big boom, no radiation. Heck, if you did it right, you could even make it look like an accident.
2012-04-19 01:46:20 AM  
1 votes:

TheShavingofOccam123: The Pacific Trash Island is said to range in size from 270,000 sq. miles to 5.8 million sq. miles. So let's start mining asteroids. Yeah! Then we can start on the Moon!


I'm confused, are you for or against mining asteroids? Because I use the same argument for it. Outside of reducing the human population by billions, moving major industry off planet is the only long term solution to environmental degradation. And who cares if we pollute on the moon?
2012-04-19 01:38:35 AM  
1 votes:

Ted Kennedy's Brain Tumor: TheShavingofOccam123: Yep. Here we go. Cue Powerhouse by Raymond Scott.

Here's what we're doing to the Pacific.

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 432x324]

That is the coast of Hawaii.

The Pacific Trash Island is said to range in size from 270,000 sq. miles to 5.8 million sq. miles. So let's start mining asteroids. Yeah! Then we can start on the Moon!

/Amazing how much killing and destruction we can do in 30,000 years. The Neanderthals lived for 300,000 years and never ONCE invented a nuclear weapon. How backward they were.

Of course, they also never put a man in orbit ... or on Luna. Trade offs; they're the price of progress.


You're right! I'm gonna go celebrate our sophistication by having a big plate full of eyeless Gulf shrimp and dead-on-the-inside-with-burned-off-shells Gulf crab, courtesy of BP shareholders.

/I'll wash them down with a nice cold beer which is a trade-off I heartily support. Who gives a fark about dead yeast and their tasty fecal material?
2012-04-19 01:25:08 AM  
1 votes:

TheShavingofOccam123: Yep. Here we go. Cue Powerhouse by Raymond Scott.

Here's what we're doing to the Pacific.

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 432x324]

That is the coast of Hawaii.

The Pacific Trash Island is said to range in size from 270,000 sq. miles to 5.8 million sq. miles. So let's start mining asteroids. Yeah! Then we can start on the Moon!

/Amazing how much killing and destruction we can do in 30,000 years. The Neanderthals lived for 300,000 years and never ONCE invented a nuclear weapon. How backward they were.


Of course, they also never put a man in orbit ... or on Luna. Trade offs; they're the price of progress.
2012-04-19 01:24:23 AM  
1 votes:

Brainsick: TheShavingofOccam123: The Neanderthals lived for 300,000 years and never ONCE invented a nuclear weapon.

Uh...yeah they did. How else did they kill the dinosaurs?


Just like they killed everything else they ate. Run up behind them and poke them in the ass with a sharp stick.
2012-04-19 01:17:29 AM  
1 votes:

TheShavingofOccam123: /Amazing how much killing and destruction we can do in 30,000 years. The Neanderthals lived for 300,000 years and never ONCE invented a nuclear weapon. How backward they were.


They also lived to the ripe old age of 25.
2012-04-19 01:14:29 AM  
1 votes:
Yep. Here we go. Cue Powerhouse by Raymond Scott.

Here's what we're doing to the Pacific.

4.bp.blogspot.com

That is the coast of Hawaii.

The Pacific Trash Island is said to range in size from 270,000 sq. miles to 5.8 million sq. miles. So let's start mining asteroids. Yeah! Then we can start on the Moon!

/Amazing how much killing and destruction we can do in 30,000 years. The Neanderthals lived for 300,000 years and never ONCE invented a nuclear weapon. How backward they were.
2012-04-19 01:13:17 AM  
1 votes:

OgreMagi: The US has sources of rare earths. Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process it in this country. With China's recent announcement that they were going to discontinue all exports, you would think there'd be a change in policy here since so many industries rely on the rare earths. China's announcement is equivalent to saying, "we're going to fark your high tech industries out of existence, yankie running dogs!"


Have you seen the effects of acid mine drainage?
2012-04-19 01:00:50 AM  
1 votes:

jack21221: Do any asteroids exist that are rich in rare earth elements? The world's supply of these elements is a bit tight right now, and China controls what little supply we have.


The US has sources of rare earths. Unfortunately, the EPA has made it impossible to mine and process it in this country. With China's recent announcement that they were going to discontinue all exports, you would think there'd be a change in policy here since so many industries rely on the rare earths. China's announcement is equivalent to saying, "we're going to fark your high tech industries out of existence, yankie running dogs!"
2012-04-19 12:28:14 AM  
1 votes:
When I was a kid, I was sure they were going to be asteroid mining at least by the turn of the century. I was hoping for a career as crewman onboard maybe a transport or something. Nothing fancy. No Firefly type adventures. Just maybe a lot of cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, the chump work. But in return, I'd get to visit Ceres, Demeter, Mars, maybe some of the Jovian moons.

I hope this will be about asteroid mining. I wish that they would've done it sooner, though.
2012-04-19 12:11:08 AM  
1 votes:
Is it too early to pack up and move to New Gettysburg? I've got a really big fly swatter.
2012-04-19 12:09:48 AM  
1 votes:
I'm guessing prefab starter moonbase prelaunched/landed and ready to be unpacked and occupied, followed shortly by people manning it.

Remember all the info in the news about how the space treaty thing might be gotten around and private property owned in space(it has to happen someday). Yeah.

I'm thinking some forward thinking people are planning to be the very very first in a few centuries long land grab in the near Earth parts of the solar system.

A much more sensible first step than "BAM ASTEROID MINING!"

Sometimes you really ARE a bad astronomer =p
2012-04-19 12:08:03 AM  
1 votes:
kildall.com
2012-04-19 12:06:11 AM  
1 votes:

edmo: I'm really looking forward to hearing their plan to bring all that ore back to Earth, heck, even returning decent quantities of refined products.


Drop it on Canada.
2012-04-18 11:26:17 PM  
1 votes:
...and with a lot of engineers, construction, and more, up the well, imagine the mark up for supplying beer. IN SPACE!
2012-04-18 11:24:03 PM  
1 votes:
Alan Steele in his Near Space stories had a lot of industrial applications for being up the well. Power generation, manufacturing in 0G, and a destination for lunar material to be parked for building structures in orbit.

Not just jobs for astronauts and scientists, but engineers, mechanics, and entrepreneurs. Heck, even a few ideas on how to clear up space junk which would build up as more industrial operations went up.

Get us a beanstalk, and then you've got real potential for moving cargo up and down. Then Lunar operations become cheaper. Hell, by that time you can get food grown up the well.

The key isn't just going up. It's creating an infrastructure so that there is a potential for folks to make some cash...
2012-04-18 11:22:28 PM  
1 votes:

impaler: Space-based counterfeiting operation, outside the jurisdiction of international law.


LEO monkey-fighting league.
2012-04-18 10:39:38 PM  
1 votes:

The Bad Astronomer: Ah, subby, you gave it away.

Remember, I'm speculating. But it fits. I'm seeing other suggestions, but it's that "natural resources" thing that keeps coming back.


Now that we have a good idea that there is water on the moon, maybe they just want to go there and build a base... Baby steps...
2012-04-18 10:35:40 PM  
1 votes:
About time.
2012-04-18 10:14:10 PM  
1 votes:
I hope they have a workable plan...of course, it has to start somewhere; I hope this is it.
 
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