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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".
 
2013-02-13 07:09:13 PM
i'll sell it to you for $5
paypal to me
 
2013-02-13 07:10:11 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.


The reality of it is that this was a PR report by the brand new company "Deep Space Industries".  They claim they are sending small probes to gather data in 2015 then eventually (2020) will sent larger probes and a 3d printer for metal to build stuff in space.  They say they will make money repairing communication satellites until space exploration picks up.  This is not a government project and your rant shows you are nothing more than a political hack.
 
2013-02-13 07:14:21 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.

[www.cosmicdiary.org image 600x376]


Sure, as long as you don't abuse the Loonies.
 
2013-02-13 07:23:11 PM

way south: The Russians were no longer going to the moon and there was no military advantage to keeping men out there.


Having a military presence on the moon wouldn't just keep the pesky Russians away, but would also be the strategic 'high ground' over the entire Earth. There's a quote i wish i could find where some military suit from the time stressed its importance as such. The advantage is so obvious you can be sure the US military was acutely aware and had a keen interest in it.

Here's a quote from Project Horizon:

"The lunar outpost is required to develop and protect potential United States interests on the moon; to develop techniques in moon-based surveillance of the earth and space, in communications relay, and in operations on the surface of the moon; to serve as a base for exploration of the moon, for further exploration into space and for military operations on the moon if required; and to support scientific investigations on the moon."

All just mysterious forgotten about.
 
2013-02-13 07:24:21 PM
Ahem, mysteriously.
 
2013-02-13 07:25:45 PM
Whatever. We need more Geek links to read Drew!!!! This has been the last Geek link for HOURS....

:(
 
2013-02-13 07:26:57 PM

KawaiiNot: Whatever. We need more Geek links to read Drew!!!! This has been the last Geek link for HOURS....

:(


Don't worry, there's sure to be another thrilling one about the vaporware iWatch or Windows 8 any minute now.
 
2013-02-13 07:40:22 PM

satanorsanta: This is not a government project and your rant shows you are nothing more than a political hack.


I never mentioned any government or politics in that rant. I think you're projecting. I know it's not an official government program, but they're looking for funding, and somehow various media outlets keep hyping their idea, trying to get public support.

And it's still much easier to set up a moon base and mine there, than all this stuff about catching asteroids and mining them in space. Regardless of who's doing it.
 
2013-02-13 08:15:33 PM

KarmicDisaster: 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.


Uh oh, reality!
 
2013-02-13 08:22:31 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.


i133.photobucket.com
ISIS will take the job.
 
2013-02-13 09:30:11 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?


Exactly. More bullcrap from the space mining brigade. It's nice to have a dream, but the lies coming out of this bunch would make a junior gold miner CEO blush.

It's funny that they're talking about mining "ten percent of its mass" for metals: hematite is 50-70% iron. I guess these guys are thinking a silicaceous asteroid luckily is going to have a hematite intrusion?

Theory Of Null: I think mining it in orbit would be a bigger problem. Still decades or a century away from this happening.


Considering it's been bathed in cosmic rays for about 4 billion years, I bet that rock would have really refractory ore. Translation, it might be useless.

But in any case we only know how to mine and process ore using gravity, atmospheric pressure, earth's surface temperature, an absence of cosmic rays, and using earthlike chemistry like liquid water, liquid sulfuric acid, and liquid HCN.

If they have to ship crushed ore back to earth for processing, then it's less than useless - any ore we want we can get on earth for cheaper than it costs to drop it from orbit. If they want to process it in space, they are going to have to build a habitat to do it in, so that there are earthlike conditions to run the processes in. If they even want to break bits off the rock, then they're going to have to invent heavy-duty equipment that can run in microgravity at near-absolute zero with cosmic rays, and they're going to have to figure out a way to haul the rocks around in zero-g without them flying away. Even partial refining in space to get the mass down before shipping it back to earth will probably require running leach pits or autoclaves or smelters in space. None of which anyone knows how to do.

And then you want to build spaceships out of this? There's no such thing as an iron spaceship. How are you going to operate a steel plant in space? What's the blast furnace going to run on, can you do desulfurization in zero-g and 3 Kelvin, where are you going to roll and form the steel?

And does anyone really believe you can program replicating machines that will be able to build a mine, refinery, smelter, steel mill and fabrication plant? Even engineers have no clue how to do any of that - we work out all our mistakes in the field.

(By the way, I wonder where in space they're going to get the plastics for the wiring insulation, the insulating equipment enclosures, and so on. They going to use asbestos instead?)

The translation of all of this is, nobody in the mining scene has any worries that these people will accomplish anything at all in the next 50-100 years. In fact I haven't even seen any proof that these Derp Space Industries guys even have any comprehension of the engineering hurdles they face.

It really would be simpler to just grab an asteroid, say 1km across, land it gently somewhere nobody lives like Namibia, and mine it like you would a normal outcrop. Except asteroids are mostly silicon or iron, and we have more than enough of that junk on our planet already.

Tough poop, guys. No space for you.
 
2013-02-13 09:35:25 PM

satanorsanta: The reality of it is that this was a PR report by the brand new company "Deep Space Industries".  They claim they are sending small probes to gather data in 2015 then eventually (2020) will sent larger probes and a 3d printer for metal to build stuff in space.


Really? A 3d printer! Ooh!

Do you stick raw iron ore in it and it magically produces fine alloys?
 
2013-02-13 09:41:14 PM

Levarien: 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.

[www.cosmicdiary.org image 600x376]

Sure, as long as you don't abuse the Loonies.


Hey, remember that Loonie who got himself arrested in some redneck southern State because it turned out he was black and married to several white women on the Moon? The backlash played a big role in Luna getting its independence.

/prolly really obscure
//unless you were into 1950's SF...
 
2013-02-13 10:02:12 PM
No need to capture asteroids to mine them. Send robots to intercept the asteroid when it passes close to earth. Robots ride the asteroid while it orbits the sun mining the asteroid. Next time the asteroid passes close to earth the raw materials are ejected and intercepted by an orbital processing plant. The whole thing could be automated.

I wouldn't be surprised if a hundred years from now the bulk of our metals are obtained by robot mining operations.
 
2013-02-13 10:07:50 PM

Stone Meadow: Levarien: 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.

[www.cosmicdiary.org image 600x376]

Sure, as long as you don't abuse the Loonies.

Hey, remember that Loonie who got himself arrested in some redneck southern State because it turned out he was black and married to several white women on the Moon? The backlash played a big role in Luna getting its independence.

/prolly really obscure
//unless you were into 1950's SF...


I don't think Heinlein is anything close to obscure
 
2013-02-13 10:10:48 PM
The mining craft would have to accelerate to 80,000 k/hr, and then turn all of that momentum around - including that of the mined ores. That's a lot of propellant even starting from earth or lunar orbit.
 
2013-02-13 10:24:06 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.  (...)

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.


Big ole. this. Asteroids are basically made of the same stuff the Eurrf is, the point is you can make more space crap out of them. If it was cheap and easy to get thing into low Urrrrrrth orbit, mining would be mostly meaningless.
 
2013-02-13 10:27:44 PM

Stone Meadow: /prolly really obscure


Not sure if serious.jpg

//unless you were into 1950's SF...

The book you're referring to was published in 1966.
 
2013-02-13 10:27:58 PM

Ghastly: No need to capture asteroids to mine them. Send robots to intercept the asteroid when it passes close to earth. Robots ride the asteroid while it orbits the sun mining the asteroid. Next time the asteroid passes close to earth the raw materials are ejected and intercepted by an orbital processing plant. The whole thing could be automated.

I wouldn't be surprised if a hundred years from now the bulk of our metals are obtained by robot mining operations.


Yup...peak iron? What peak iron?

Short version? When we really get into space we'll have more materials to work with than we can exhaust for centuries.

miniflea: Stone Meadow: Levarien: 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.

[www.cosmicdiary.org image 600x376]

Sure, as long as you don't abuse the Loonies.

Hey, remember that Loonie who got himself arrested in some redneck southern State because it turned out he was black and married to several white women on the Moon? The backlash played a big role in Luna getting its independence.

/prolly really obscure
//unless you were into 1950's SF...

I don't think Heinlein is anything close to obscure


Drat! Here I was thinking the young'uns had never read their Heinlein.

/mea culpa
 
2013-02-13 10:31:27 PM

theorellior: Stone Meadow: /prolly really obscure

Not sure if serious.jpg

//unless you were into 1950's SF...

The book you're referring to was published in 1966.


Let me assure you I am only too pleased to be wrong in this case. :^)

/oh, and sorry for getting the dates wrong...I've read a lot of Heinlein
 
2013-02-13 10:39:53 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Considering it's been bathed in cosmic rays for about 4 billion years, I bet that rock would have really refractory ore. Translation, it might be useless.


How would cosmic rays make a nickel-iron asteroid refractory? Most cosmic rays would have a hard time penetrating more than a meter into the surface.

And it's my understanding that a metallic asteroid isn't metal ore. It's metal. Most prehistoric iron was, in fact, meteoric iron. There's no oxidation products because there's no free oxygen around. Also, there will be various siderophile metals included in the mix. The Earth's crust is poor in siderophiles because most of them sank to the core with the nickel-iron when everything was molten.

You sound somewhat knowledgeable, but there was another engineer-type in a recent asteroid-mining thread who was confident that all he would need is a simple automated setup and he could have ingots shooting back to Earth pretty quickly. I think I'll average your opinions together.
 
2013-02-13 10:40:41 PM

Al!: 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.


I take issue, sir, with your disparaging of haddock in this manner.
 
2013-02-13 10:53:37 PM
just haul in a white dwarf. They only have one diamond at the core, but its ten billion-trillion-trillion carats.
 
2013-02-13 11:14:08 PM
www.tomswift.info

/knows how it's done
 
2013-02-13 11:22:43 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.


collider.com
 
2013-02-13 11:54:37 PM

trickymoo: 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?


I was thinking the Fithp might be responsible.
 
2013-02-14 12:01:16 AM
China is ruled by technocrats, many of which have engineering degrees. They're smart enough to know the real reason why you would want to position a large rock in Lunar or HEO, and might just have a problem with it.
 
2013-02-14 12:53:28 AM

AcneVulgaris: What could possibly go wrong?


This is an ad based on speculation built on a confidence game that cons you out of money?
 
2013-02-14 12:55:58 AM

KawaiiNot: Whatever. We need more Geek links to read Drew!!!! This has been the last Geek link for HOURS....

:(


Don't force it, they'll push usa-today as "geek."
 
2013-02-14 08:19:04 AM
It will happen some day.  And, really, what could possibly go wrong?

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-02-14 08:56:39 AM
The only good asteroid is a dead asteroid...

upload.wikimedia.org

Don't wanna close my eyes, I don't wanna fall asleep 'Cause I'd miss you baby and I don't wanna miss a thing
 
2013-02-14 10:04:38 AM

Kraftwerk Orange: 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.

[collider.com image 600x400]


Hey, hey...my favorite low-budget sci-fi film. Cheers, mate!
 
2013-02-15 12:16:41 PM

schnee: [www.tomswift.info image 275x419]

/knows how it's done


You just made my day.

/I collect the books.
 
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