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(Network World)   Earth-buzzing asteroid worth big bucks: $195B if we could catch it   (networkworld.com) divider line 83
    More: Cool, asteroids, Earth, dsi, sky survey, rocket fuels, Deep Space Network, dragonflies, building materials  
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5867 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Feb 2013 at 3:18 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-13 02:39:46 PM
static.tvguide.com
 
2013-02-13 02:40:52 PM
NASA hard at work on a really big catchers mitt
 
2013-02-13 03:27:02 PM
I've been working on the Asteroid
All the live long day
I've been working on the Asteroid
With a 15 minute day...
 
2013-02-13 03:27:49 PM
Is that net or gross?

Also, is this a thing now? We're going to put a price tag on every rock that flies by until we have the where-with-all to wrangle them?
 
2013-02-13 03:28:54 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: NASA hard at work on a really big catchers mitt


Russians working on a cheaper pool skimmer version.
 
2013-02-13 03:28:58 PM
The value is based on the projected value of the materials as used to perform construction in space, which means a LOT of that cost is not inherent to the material themselves, but costs associated with launching earth materials into space.  Even if you "caught" the asteroid, you better be able to process it into finished components and sell it to parties with an interest in space exploration.  Even water is worth quite a lot of money if i is in space and in a position to be used.  If you brought it back to earth, you'd lose most of that value and probably be best off cutting it up and selling it as a meteor, probably worth millions still but nowhere near the huge estimate above.

All that said, I am excited to see what we can do with asteroid mining.  Short of a space elevator, space based fabrication of components is a necessary step to any significant future space exploration.
 
2013-02-13 03:32:29 PM
Just tell the bugs to lob one closer to us next time.

/yes, I would like to know more
 
2013-02-13 03:35:46 PM

PsyLord: Just tell the bugs to lob one closer to us next time.

/yes, I would like to know more


Isnt this also applicable to Ender's Game?
 
2013-02-13 03:36:09 PM
Cost to catch it, 4 Trillion dollars.
 
2013-02-13 03:50:52 PM
I have a cr*p-ton of rope and a grappling hook.  Any of you Farkers really, really into model rocketry?
 
2013-02-13 03:59:08 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: NASA hard at work on a really big catchers mitt


Just give ARod some more 'roids and he should be able to do it on his own.
 
2013-02-13 04:04:43 PM
PsyLord: Just tell the bugs to lob one closer to us next time.

Did he just call us "bugs"?

upload.wikimedia.org

//I would expect more from a PSyI Lord Cop
 
2013-02-13 04:06:29 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
 
2013-02-13 04:08:52 PM
The up front cost of mining is space is huge. But once you set up even the most basic apparatus to mine and return it to earth the cost would drop significantly. Even more if you invest in processing the material in space. At that point you would basically be able to construct stuff in space for a fraction of the cost of anything else on Earth.
 
2013-02-13 04:12:39 PM
So that's how superman really makes his money, you know he couldn't afford to furnish the fortress on solitude on a newspapers reporters salary.
 
2013-02-13 04:14:50 PM

AcneVulgaris: What could possibly go wrong?


Try explaining that to my relatives in Tunguska.
 
2013-02-13 04:29:29 PM

ActionJoe: The up front cost of mining is space is huge. But once you set up even the most basic apparatus to mine and return it to earth the cost would drop significantly. Even more if you invest in processing the material in space. At that point you would basically be able to construct stuff in space for a fraction of the cost of anything else on Earth.


it seems the key aspect of space mining is to actually get raw material in space for processing rather than return anything found in space to earth.

1 L of water on earth .10 ~ 2.50 (5$ at burning man)
1 L of water in space $$$$$PROFIT$$$$$
 
2013-02-13 04:30:17 PM

cgraves67: Is that net or gross?

Also, is this a thing now? We're going to put a price tag on every rock that flies by until we have the where-with-all to wrangle them?


That would have to be gross, right? I don't think we have any idea how much it costs to catch one yet.
 
2013-02-13 04:31:11 PM
Just send a couple of these up to deal with it. I mean it just a triangle.


www.kpcnews.net
 
2013-02-13 04:34:05 PM
FTFA: Once reusable launch vehicles are more readily available, future prices to fall to 20% of today's levels, an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 would still be worth $39 billion, and the cost of launching hardware to retrieve and process it would be much lower, DSI stated.

So never.
 
2013-02-13 04:42:11 PM
FTA:   If 10% of its mass  It could mass which could range from as little as 16,000 tons or as much as one million tons -- is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth -- in space as building material -- an additional $130 billion.

Do people get paid to write this crap?  Do editors still exist?
 
2013-02-13 04:46:11 PM
Hmm...

FTA: "The asteroid... could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant....if 2012 DA14 contains 5% recoverable water, that ... might be worth as much as $65 billion. If 10% of its mass... is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth... an additional $130 billion....   It measures some 50 meters wide, neither very large nor very small, and is probably made of stone, as opposed to metal or ice."

Did they even read the article while they were writing it?
 
2013-02-13 04:51:15 PM
They need to they need to edit their post post before they publish it online online.
 
2013-02-13 05:01:36 PM

cgraves67: Is that net or gross?

Also, is this a thing now? We're going to put a price tag on every rock that flies by until we have the where-with-all to wrangle them?


us.123rf.com
 
2013-02-13 05:06:54 PM
Cost to catch it $400 Billion, Retail value $195 Billion.  Net Profit: -$205 Billion. But the technology we develop to catch it will spin off into lots of wonderful things like better lacrosse sticks or something.
 
2013-02-13 05:13:41 PM

steve_wmn: Cost to catch it $400 Billion, Retail value $195 Billion.  Net Profit: -$205 Billion. But the technology we develop to catch it will spin off into lots of wonderful things like better lacrosse sticks or something.


"weh.. science sucks..."
 
2013-02-13 05:25:57 PM

This Looks Fun: Hmm...

FTA: "The asteroid... could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant....if 2012 DA14 contains 5% recoverable water, that ... might be worth as much as $65 billion. If 10% of its mass... is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth... an additional $130 billion....   It measures some 50 meters wide, neither very large nor very small, and is probably made of stone, as opposed to metal or ice."

Did they even read the article while they were writing it?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid#Composition
The physical composition of asteroids is varied and in most cases poorly understood. Ceres appears to be composed of a rocky core covered by an icy mantle, where Vesta is thought to have a nickel-iron core, olivine mantle, and basaltic crust.10 Hygiea, however, which appears to have a uniformly primitive composition of carbonaceous chondrite, is thought to be the largest undifferentiated asteroid. Most of the smaller asteroids are thought to be piles of rubble held together loosely by gravity, though the largest are probably solid.
 
2013-02-13 05:28:28 PM
Don't worry, I got this.

farm6.staticflickr.com
 
2013-02-13 05:28:31 PM

Barricaded Gunman: AcneVulgaris: What could possibly go wrong?

Try explaining that to my relatives in Tunguska.


I would, but they're mostly vapor and diamonds now.
 
2013-02-13 05:32:23 PM
Prolly lots cheaper to put a station on the moon to mine what we need, then loft it to wherever it's needed with a rail gun.

www.cosmicdiary.org
 
2013-02-13 05:32:24 PM

Arkanaut: I don't think we have any idea how much it costs to catch one yet.


And that's the beauty of it. If they can get the public to back this asteroid mining thing, it's a blank cheque for as many tax dollars as they can poorly justify.

My answer to them, is they should first finish what they started on the moon 60 years ago. If they successfully did it that long ago, it should be nothing to do it now. Also, we can't be encouraging this kind of ADD with space exploration, or they'll never stick with anything long enough to reach their goals.
 
2013-02-13 05:48:13 PM
It's just a rock and mixed up and mostly worthless elements. We have enough Iron here. The only thing that might make anything on it valuable is that it is "in space" but the delta V/energy needed to bring the stuff into Earth orbit where we could use it is greater than the energy required to launch the same stuff from the Earth. So it is pretty much worthless.
 
2013-02-13 05:58:04 PM

J. Frank Parnell: Arkanaut: I don't think we have any idea how much it costs to catch one yet.

And that's the beauty of it. If they can get the public to back this asteroid mining thing, it's a blank cheque for as many tax dollars as they can poorly justify.

My answer to them, is they should first finish what they started on the moon 60 years ago. If they successfully did it that long ago, it should be nothing to do it now. Also, we can't be encouraging this kind of ADD with space exploration, or they'll never stick with anything long enough to reach their goals.




Problem being that what was started by the US government was a political project. The objective was to get there, not to accomplish anything, so its budget was necessarily tuned for outrageous cost and no direct return.
It as a great thing for the US and had economic benefits, but it wasn't designed to make money.

We have to go back to space under commercial terms where the rockets are affordable and the objectives return palpable rewards.
It can be done, but Apollo math is no good for putting the profitability of such a mission into perspective.

/it would be like using the d-day budget numbers to estimate how much a company picnic on a French beach might cost.
 
2013-02-13 05:59:52 PM

way south: J. Frank Parnell: Arkanaut: I don't think we have any idea how much it costs to catch one yet.

And that's the beauty of it. If they can get the public to back this asteroid mining thing, it's a blank cheque for as many tax dollars as they can poorly justify.

My answer to them, is they should first finish what they started on the moon 60 years ago. If they successfully did it that long ago, it should be nothing to do it now. Also, we can't be encouraging this kind of ADD with space exploration, or they'll never stick with anything long enough to reach their goals.

Problem being that what was started by the US government was a political project. The objective was to get there, not to accomplish anything, so its budget was necessarily tuned for outrageous cost and no direct return.
It as a great thing for the US and had economic benefits, but it wasn't designed to make money.

We have to go back to space under commercial terms where the rockets are affordable and the objectives return palpable rewards.
It can be done, but Apollo math is no good for putting the profitability of such a mission into perspective.

/it would be like using the d-day budget numbers to estimate how much a company picnic on a French beach might cost.


Or we can stop acting like every worthwhile human endeavor has to turn a profit.  Running a country like a corporation is a pretty horrible way to run things.
 
2013-02-13 06:11:29 PM
media.giantbomb.com

"Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary, but competition for limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed have followed us to the stars, and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse."

C.E.O. Nwabudike Morgan
 
2013-02-13 06:11:40 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: NASA hard at work on a really big catchers mitt


The Earth is a really big catcher's mitt. We'll catch one sooner or later.
 
2013-02-13 06:13:06 PM

Spaced Cowboy: way south: J. Frank Parnell: Arkanaut: I don't think we have any idea how much it costs to catch one yet.

And that's the beauty of it. If they can get the public to back this asteroid mining thing, it's a blank cheque for as many tax dollars as they can poorly justify.

My answer to them, is they should first finish what they started on the moon 60 years ago. If they successfully did it that long ago, it should be nothing to do it now. Also, we can't be encouraging this kind of ADD with space exploration, or they'll never stick with anything long enough to reach their goals.

Problem being that what was started by the US government was a political project. The objective was to get there, not to accomplish anything, so its budget was necessarily tuned for outrageous cost and no direct return.
It as a great thing for the US and had economic benefits, but it wasn't designed to make money.

We have to go back to space under commercial terms where the rockets are affordable and the objectives return palpable rewards.
It can be done, but Apollo math is no good for putting the profitability of such a mission into perspective.

/it would be like using the d-day budget numbers to estimate how much a company picnic on a French beach might cost.

Or we can stop acting like every worthwhile human endeavor has to turn a profit.  Running a country like a corporation is a pretty horrible way to run things.




...But it has to.
For something to live it must eat and it must poop.
For a society to exist in space it must consume sunlight and rock while shiatting money.

Earths governments wont foot the bill just to put some communists on mars.
If people want to live out there independent of politics, they'll need a business case.
 
2013-02-13 06:22:59 PM

way south: Problem being that what was started by the US government was a political project. The objective was to get there, not to accomplish anything, so its budget was necessarily tuned for outrageous cost and no direct return.


Being the first to get there wasn't just an ego thing, it meant they had a head start developing the moon before the Russians. If the Russians got there first they would have a distinct advantage in the future. At the time they were filling everyone's minds with talk of moon bases and moon mining and whatever else to get unlimited funding, and it made sense because doing more things there naturally follows going there once, but for some reason it just didn't.

But all that aside, if you want to mine extra-planetary things, the moon is a much easier target, so get to it.
 
2013-02-13 06:28:41 PM

R66YRobo: The value is based on the projected value of the materials as used to perform construction in space, which means a LOT of that cost is not inherent to the material themselves, but costs associated with launching earth materials into space.  Even if you "caught" the asteroid, you better be able to process it into finished components and sell it to parties with an interest in space exploration.  Even water is worth quite a lot of money if i is in space and in a position to be used.  If you brought it back to earth, you'd lose most of that value and probably be best off cutting it up and selling it as a meteor, probably worth millions still but nowhere near the huge estimate above.

All that said, I am excited to see what we can do with asteroid mining.  Short of a space elevator, space based fabrication of components is a necessary step to any significant future space exploration.


Also: wouldn't a massive flood of these materials cause their value to drop?
 
2013-02-13 06:29:13 PM

StopLurkListen: This Looks Fun: Hmm...

FTA: "The asteroid...  could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant....if 2012 DA14 contains 5% recoverable water, that ... might be worth as much as $65 billion. If 10% of its mass... is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth... an additional $130 billion....   It measures some 50 meters wide, neither very large nor very small, and is probably made of stone, as opposed to metal or ice."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid#Composition


Somewhat startlingly, I read that like 2 days ago. I bolded the relevant words in my post for you. I am of course referring to this specific asteroid, which I am told is "probably made of stone" in the end of an article that goes on for paragraphs about how much it would be worth if it wasn't.

"Let me tell you about my neighbor's car. If it's a Ferrari, it's easily worth a couple hundred grand. [15 paragraphs about Ferraris later...] Oh, also it's not a Ferrari."

That's what I'm taking issue with.
 
2013-02-13 06:31:31 PM
fusillade762:Also: wouldn't a massive flood of these materials cause their value to drop?

I don't gather so, no. It seems they want to keep most of them in space for in-space construction. Th article says they would only start importing if they had an abundance. I guess they could import so much it lowers the value, but just like earth-bound mining: when you sell the minerals, the cost of mining is included in the cost. It doesn't seem likely to me.
 
2013-02-13 06:39:58 PM
I think mining it in orbit would be a bigger problem. Still decades or a century away from this happening.
 
2013-02-13 06:40:55 PM
I main problem i see with this; it would likely cost nearly as much as it is worth to catch it making it a wash  assuming we could figure out how to do it and get everything in place in time.
 
2013-02-13 06:42:43 PM
$195 Billion is only 0.195 Obama units.

We need at least 10 Obama units to survive the next 10 years.
 
2013-02-13 06:43:00 PM

kg2095: MaudlinMutantMollusk: NASA hard at work on a really big catchers mitt

The Earth is a really big catcher's mitt. We'll catch one sooner or later.


I can't help but think of that time in the past we all had where you blocked a tennis ball with one of those red balls perfect for dodgeball.

/I know it wouldn't really work that way at all
 
Al!
2013-02-13 06:48:08 PM
This is what the internet has come to.  An article about a very specific and detailed field written by a person who likely has trouble using the toilet without assistance and edited by a classroom full of haddock.
 
2013-02-13 06:54:37 PM

Stone Meadow: Prolly lots cheaper to put a station on the moon to mine what we need, then loft it to wherever it's needed with a rail gun.


Yeah, but next thing you know one of those nuclear reactors are going to overload and explode. This will knock the moon out of it's orbit and send it on it's own trajectory through the galaxy. And, if we can afford it, there will be an all-star cast along for the ride.


J. Frank Parnell:  At the time they were filling everyone's minds with talk of moon bases and moon mining and whatever else to get unlimited funding, and it made sense because doing more things there naturally follows going there once, but for some reason it just didn't.

I'm betting on one of the major reasons being the ongoing war in Viet Nam. All that moon stuff cost a lot of money, money that could be better spent killing brown people on the other side of the ocean. Sadly, NASA has always been forced to operate on a shoestring budget while defense has a pretty much all you can eat buffet. Just imagine where we'd be if those numbers were reversed.

/too bad we can't go much more than a decade or so before we get into yet another war / 'police action'
 
2013-02-13 06:58:13 PM

J. Frank Parnell: way south: Problem being that what was started by the US government was a political project. The objective was to get there, not to accomplish anything, so its budget was necessarily tuned for outrageous cost and no direct return.

Being the first to get there wasn't just an ego thing, it meant they had a head start developing the moon before the Russians. If the Russians got there first they would have a distinct advantage in the future. At the time they were filling everyone's minds with talk of moon bases and moon mining and whatever else to get unlimited funding, and it made sense because doing more things there naturally follows going there once, but for some reason it just didn't.

But all that aside, if you want to mine extra-planetary things, the moon is a much easier target, so get to it.




I think the realities simply kicked in.
The Russians were no longer going to the moon and there was no military advantage to keeping men out there. With no ready money to be made from a program tuned for expedience, Apollo was unsustainable. The war and the money were in orbital operations.

That said, we can go back in a sustained way.
What I want is to see a space mining company cash a big fat check from one of their exploits. One big enough to make every captain of industry say "wait... theres money up there?!".

That is what will open space up to the masses.
You'll have to pass a law just to keep corporations from kidnapping people off the streets to fill astronaut boots.

/If you've invested in the propulsion needed to get to the moon, you can get to many other places.
/Grab the targets of opportunity. The fuel costs to move material from an asteroid are lower anyway.
 
2013-02-13 06:59:56 PM

steve_wmn: Cost to catch it $400 Billion, Retail value $195 Billion.  Net Profit: -$205 Billion. But the technology we develop to catch it will spin off into lots of wonderful things like better lacrosse sticks or something.


retail value is a lie.
it is assuming little to no price elasticity or supply and demand effect.

the current supply/cost of getting fuel to orbit is X.
But if you magically had a million times the amount of fuel in orbit than has ever been there, your increase in supply would greatly decrease the price of said fuel.
These articles always use a fixed price calculation and a fixed/constant demand for the product.

not going to happen that way in the real world
 
2013-02-13 07:02:06 PM
I think dude should start trying to communicate utilizing only pictograms. That way he can maybe avoid sounding illiterate. Clearly, communicating in English is not his forte.

/Forte: pronounced "fort".
 
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