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(Smithsonian Magazine)   Metal asteroid could be worth 10 quintillion dollars, say NASA folks who got entirely the wrong takeaways from "Don't Look Up"   (smithsonianmag.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Solar System, Planet, Mars, Asteroid, Main Asteroid Belt, Psyche spacecraft launches, Arizona State University, NASA  
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4137 clicks; posted to Main » and STEM » on 05 Jan 2022 at 2:05 PM (19 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-01-05 1:52:06 PM  
cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.netView Full Size

10 quintillion dollars.
 
2022-01-05 2:00:18 PM  
Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.
 
2022-01-05 2:08:06 PM  
Will it land at Moon Zero Two?
Will Catherine Schell be in the sexy underwear?
My moon buggy over heats at the thought.

Why not have the asteroid land where they already have a moon claim?  They have to redirect it anyways.
 
2022-01-05 2:09:03 PM  
That's an amazingly sharp photo of an asteroid.
 
2022-01-05 2:09:31 PM  

NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.


Don't worry, the astro-mining company would operate as a monopoly and restrict supply to make sure that prices don't drop.
 
2022-01-05 2:10:24 PM  

NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.


(1) That is assuming you just released everything in one big blurt.  There is no reason to do that, but just follow the DeBeers model.  And there is incentive to do so.  A single, average-sized asteroid would hold several decades worth of the world need in iron.  Doling it out would be much more useful than just splorting it out in one go.  Even Costco doesn't offer a 1-billion-roll pack of TP, after all.

(2) The first one would probably still be worth a lot even if you did blow your entire load at once.  The cost of safely getting all the model down to Earth would make it really expensive, even with so much.  Only successive asteroids would be cheaper.
 
2022-01-05 2:11:32 PM  
They've been talking about asteroid mining for years. There is still no viable method to capture and safely redirect to Earth, and yeah, the basic plan is launch the suckers towards the Sahara or otherwise uninhabited place, and hope for whatever survives reentry.

It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.
 
2022-01-05 2:12:13 PM  

relaxitsjustme: That's an amazingly sharp photo of an asteroid.


It says "Illustration" right on the pic...
 
2022-01-05 2:12:15 PM  
I must find a way to stop and catch it....
 
2022-01-05 2:13:39 PM  
Asteroid mining is something that is going to happen way faster then we think.
 
2022-01-05 2:14:02 PM  

LavenderWolf: relaxitsjustme: That's an amazingly sharp photo of an asteroid.

It says "Illustration" right on the pic...


So it does. I stand corrected.
 
2022-01-05 2:14:18 PM  
It would be useful for manufacturing useful things in space, maybe side 7 and a few Gundams?
 
2022-01-05 2:14:41 PM  

relaxitsjustme: That's an amazingly sharp photo of an asteroid.


Artist's rendition. Here's reality.
Fark user imageView Full Size
We should know what it actually looks like in a few years after the Psyche mission gets there.
 
2022-01-05 2:14:42 PM  

houstondragon: They've been talking about asteroid mining for years. There is still no viable method to capture and safely redirect to Earth, and yeah, the basic plan is launch the suckers towards the Sahara or otherwise uninhabited place, and hope for whatever survives reentry.

It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.


😲
 
2022-01-05 2:15:05 PM  
How much is that in brazilians?
 
2022-01-05 2:15:24 PM  

houstondragon: It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.


I don't know what I'll do with a 300ft roll of Kirkland Platinum Foil but by God its my rights as a American to buy a dozen of them.
 
2022-01-05 2:17:11 PM  

houstondragon: They've been talking about asteroid mining for years. There is still no viable method to capture and safely redirect to Earth, and yeah, the basic plan is launch the suckers towards the Sahara or otherwise uninhabited place, and hope for whatever survives reentry.

It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.


Oh there are viable methods, the problem is that they cost more than the materials' worth.

Asteroid mining will probably never happen if it is to be driven by a profit motive.

Well, that applies at least until we essentially "run out" of things we can get on asteroids.
 
2022-01-05 2:17:18 PM  

NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansa_Musa

He farked the economy for 10 years in the places he visited, just by giving them gold.
 
2022-01-05 2:17:37 PM  
I wouldn't even send the first few down the well. Use the minerals already up there with a smelter to get the ball rolling on an orbital platform. Once that's in place, then start figuring out how to send it down.
 
2022-01-05 2:17:45 PM  

phalamir: NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.

(1) That is assuming you just released everything in one big blurt.  There is no reason to do that, but just follow the DeBeers model.  And there is incentive to do so.  A single, average-sized asteroid would hold several decades worth of the world need in iron.  Doling it out would be much more useful than just splorting it out in one go.  Even Costco doesn't offer a 1-billion-roll pack of TP, after all.

(2) The first one would probably still be worth a lot even if you did blow your entire load at once.  The cost of safely getting all the model down to Earth would make it really expensive, even with so much.  Only successive asteroids would be cheaper.


Your average nickel-iron asteroid has about 5 years worth of world production of various metals per many guesstimates. Putting 3 to 5 on the moon would result in being able to generate large volume production of esoteric alloys one can only create in low (or zero) gravity environments. However you still have to get them back to earth in quantity, and that's the trick right now, we can probably get them to the moon and do most if the ining and smelting with solar power (quite literally) but getting it back to Earth is trickier.
 
2022-01-05 2:18:37 PM  
It was an odd choice that they insisted on making it a "comet" in Don't Look Up, since, by definition, those are effectively "dirty snowballs" and don't contain precious metals like asteroids do.
 
2022-01-05 2:18:49 PM  

NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.


Especially since iron and nickel aren't particularly valuable in the first place.
 
2022-01-05 2:19:02 PM  
I mean, we scoff at stuff like this, but the reality is all resources are finite so the idea that we could in any logistical sense harvest resources hurling at us from the depths of space shouldn't be seen as a particularly bad one.
 
2022-01-05 2:19:32 PM  

Enigmamf: NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.

Don't worry, the astro-mining company would operate as a monopoly and restrict supply to make sure that prices don't drop.


Also, the astromining company would probably incorporate on some offshore locale so that in the likely, er, unlikely event that the operation goes tits up and the asteroid slams into earth, liability will be limited and the company protected, should humankind survive.
 
2022-01-05 2:19:33 PM  

LavenderWolf: houstondragon: They've been talking about asteroid mining for years. There is still no viable method to capture and safely redirect to Earth, and yeah, the basic plan is launch the suckers towards the Sahara or otherwise uninhabited place, and hope for whatever survives reentry.

It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.

Oh there are viable methods, the problem is that they cost more than the materials' worth.

Asteroid mining will probably never happen if it is to be driven by a profit motive.

Well, that applies at least until we essentially "run out" of things we can get on asteroids.


You land them on the moon and use (literally) solar powered furnaces for initial smelting.
 
2022-01-05 2:19:37 PM  

jaivirtualcard: How much is that in brazilians?


Brazilians don't have a viable space program.   Bosonaro claims they do, but he just uses footage from TerraHawks and claims they are blasting off from a remote site in the Amazon.
 
2022-01-05 2:20:24 PM  

BigNumber12: It was an odd choice that they insisted on making it a "comet" in Don't Look Up, since, by definition, those are effectively "dirty snowballs" and don't contain precious metals like asteroids do.


Bear in mind that every single person in that movie was an idiot.
 
2022-01-05 2:20:36 PM  

NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.



hummmm

use public money to develop the tech and get there.  then bring the shiat back for private asshole sit at home company stock owners to profit off of.

Socialize the costs/liabilities
Privatize the Profits.


Murca
 
2022-01-05 2:21:04 PM  

Jubeebee: houstondragon: It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.

I don't know what I'll do with a 300ft roll of Kirkland Platinum Foil but by God its my rights as a American to buy a dozen of them.


The process of mining it would be so long that, while lowering the price, it wouldn't be a flood of material.
Its advantage is that it would be a steady, known supply.  When Padishah Emperor Musk begins operations he will ensure that the spice flows.
 
2022-01-05 2:21:23 PM  

phalamir: NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.

(1) That is assuming you just released everything in one big blurt.  There is no reason to do that, but just follow the DeBeers model.  And there is incentive to do so.  A single, average-sized asteroid would hold several decades worth of the world need in iron.  Doling it out would be much more useful than just splorting it out in one go.  Even Costco doesn't offer a 1-billion-roll pack of TP, after all.

(2) The first one would probably still be worth a lot even if you did blow your entire load at once.  The cost of safely getting all the model down to Earth would make it really expensive, even with so much.  Only successive asteroids would be cheaper.


I've heard that if there was gold in low earth orbit as plentiful as sand it would not be cost efficient to scoop it up and send it back to earth.
 
2022-01-05 2:21:39 PM  

LavenderWolf: houstondragon: They've been talking about asteroid mining for years. There is still no viable method to capture and safely redirect to Earth, and yeah, the basic plan is launch the suckers towards the Sahara or otherwise uninhabited place, and hope for whatever survives reentry.

It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.

Oh there are viable methods, the problem is that they cost more than the materials' worth.

Asteroid mining will probably never happen if it is to be driven by a profit motive.

Well, that applies at least until we essentially "run out" of things we can get on asteroids.


Water is high on their list, the Expanse may be considered a documentary in later years.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/floating-treasure-space-law-needs-to-catch-up-with-asteroid-mining/
 
2022-01-05 2:22:06 PM  

DoctorWhat: relaxitsjustme: That's an amazingly sharp photo of an asteroid.

Artist's rendition. Here's reality.
[Fark user image image 850x398] We should know what it actually looks like in a few years after the Psyche mission gets there.


Well those seem perfectly manageable to me. Hell I could fit all five of those in the palm of my hand right now! Frankly I don't see what all the fuss is about.
 
2022-01-05 2:22:50 PM  
Oh goodie, I can't wait for the protomolecule to show up.
 
2022-01-05 2:23:21 PM  

LavenderWolf: BigNumber12: It was an odd choice that they insisted on making it a "comet" in Don't Look Up, since, by definition, those are effectively "dirty snowballs" and don't contain precious metals like asteroids do.

Bear in mind that every single person in that movie was an idiot.


Fair enough
 
2022-01-05 2:25:43 PM  
Any chance there's an asteroid out there made out of wood? Timber prices are through the roof.
 
2022-01-05 2:26:13 PM  
Mining in space probably won't be worth it unless we can manufacture there as well.
 
2022-01-05 2:26:27 PM  

BunchaRubes: NewportBarGuy: Yes... I'm sure the price of those things would stay exactly the same if they flooded the market.

mmmhmm...

lol... my god.

Especially since iron and nickel aren't particularly valuable in the first place.



what is it has unobtanium on it and they aren't revealing that??
 
2022-01-05 2:26:29 PM  
Bad news guys...
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-05 2:26:41 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

I don't know. I seen one just like it orbiting Saturn. Best I can give you is 1.5 quintillion.
 
2022-01-05 2:26:56 PM  
This guy got his appraised, it was worth shiat


i.ytimg.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-05 2:27:45 PM  

Dissident Sheep: Mining in space probably won't be worth it unless we can manufacture there as well.


so what

they can still blow plenty of public dollars on the effort.   stock owners profit.

Win
 
2022-01-05 2:27:47 PM  

kdawg7736: I must find a way to stop and catch it....


Boy howdy....I'll bet there are a lot of rare earth metals on that thing. If we only had a YOOGE magnet to draw it in, one that wouldn't mess with our satellites and iPads. We get it close, then kdawg7736and I will leap out, taking the asteroid completely by surprise and totally unarmed!

No, wait. That's just what it will be expecting....

Perhaps if we build a large, wooden badger.
 
2022-01-05 2:28:42 PM  
By sending an unmanned probe, they missed a perfectly good opportunity to launch Bruce Willis in to space.
 
2022-01-05 2:28:59 PM  
That's not how supply and demand work. If the asteroid ended up on earth it would greatly increase the supply while decreasing the demand (aka people).
 
2022-01-05 2:29:14 PM  

Dissident Sheep: Mining in space probably won't be worth it unless we can manufacture there as well.



i'm bringing back space to sell.   buy it in cubic inch quantities.
 
2022-01-05 2:29:34 PM  
Everything is all peach's and cream until one of COM-AM's employees dies from polydichloric euthimal use.
 
2022-01-05 2:30:24 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: Oh goodie, I can't wait for the protomolecule to show up.


That universe is cool and all, but I want cortical stacks and needlecasting, dammit.

/and available, affordable biosynthetic engineered bodies to resleeve into.
 
2022-01-05 2:31:45 PM  

Gerald Tarrant: Asteroid mining is something that is going to happen way faster then we think.



of course.

they can blow public money on the effort and privatize any profits if they produce same.
 
2022-01-05 2:31:58 PM  

inglixthemad: LavenderWolf: houstondragon: They've been talking about asteroid mining for years. There is still no viable method to capture and safely redirect to Earth, and yeah, the basic plan is launch the suckers towards the Sahara or otherwise uninhabited place, and hope for whatever survives reentry.

It's been pointed out that dropping a metric shiatton of platinum and things would fark our economy up, but rich folks don't give a shiat.

Oh there are viable methods, the problem is that they cost more than the materials' worth.

Asteroid mining will probably never happen if it is to be driven by a profit motive.

Well, that applies at least until we essentially "run out" of things we can get on asteroids.

You land them on the moon and use (literally) solar powered furnaces for initial smelting.


It can be viable for space-based or moon-based production, but I don't see how it can be viable for goods intended for use on Earth. Personally, I would be against the idea of just aiming a railgun at the Earth from the Moon. Timing slightly off on a shot and obliterate a few blocks of a city? No thanks!

No, things made in space will be prohibitively expensive if that kind of production ever even takes off.

And that assumes you can get the material to the moon. So let's go ahead and assume right off the bat that we're not moving the asteroid itself. The amount of energy that would be required is, no pun intended, astronomical. It's suspected to be a planetary core. If you strapped every rocket ever made to the asteroid and fueled them for a month somehow, you might alter its orbit enough to detect a change. So you have to mine the material while the thing is out in the asteroid belt, on an orbit that differs greatly from Earth and the Moon. Are we going to use traditional rockets to move the mined/refined material? That's a non-starter.

Could try the railgun method from there and fire it near the Earth/Moon system, with some crazy safety systems that ensure that you cannot hit the Earth. That might work. Then you catch them somehow, redirect to the moon, which has ample space to slam asteroid chunks into.

I dunno, I really want asteroid mining to work. I do. I just don't see how we could do it without risking way, way too much.
 
2022-01-05 2:32:13 PM  

ajgeek: I wouldn't even send the first few down the well. Use the minerals already up there with a smelter to get the ball rolling on an orbital platform. Once that's in place, then start figuring out how to send it down.


It depends on the metal. Stuff like iron would stay in orbit to be used for future construction, but the platinum-group stuff would be very useful down here to make fuel cells cheaper, to provide better catalysts for chemical processes, etc. Look at all the things we now use aluminum for, when it used to be a precious metal. That one was just a matter of figuring out how to refine it, but the other ones are genuinely rare in our planetary crust.
 
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