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(Gizmag)   NASA considers putting asteroid into orbit around the moon, because science   ( gizmag.com) divider line
    More: Strange, asteroids, orbits, NASA, moons, ion engines, NASA considers, W.M. Keck Observatory, lunar orbit  
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2860 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Jan 2013 at 3:56 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-01-04 05:12:27 PM  
4 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe: maniacbastard : What do you expect to find in there to make it worthwile to "mine" an asteroid? With what equipment? How?

What I would find, materials and minerals that formed in low gravity, in conditions that cannot be achieved on a planetary surface that may be novel. Platinum group metals as well. I would expect to find illimite and hydrates that I can use to extract liquid oxygen raw titanium and iron. Since the asteroid in question is carbonaceous, I would be able to extract carbon that with the iron that I already have, I have the ability to make stainless steel. Since I have titanium, if I bring along some vandium and other alloying ingredients, I can make Titanium. Also since I am in zero g I'd bet I I can use a single nucleation site and grow monster single crystal versions of every metal I mentioned.

How would I do it? It is called ISRU equipment and you pay me money and I magically use formulas and magic boxes called 'computers' to 'design engineer' things that do whatever process you want. I've worked on planetary drilling systems and ISRU before. it would be a technology development effort, but it requires no breakthroughs in materials or power or anything else. And the low gravity would be a nice bonus.
Given the fact that the 7 meter asteroid in question weighs 500 tons roughly, that is a lot of material to turn into something. And a great testbed for a wide variety of ISRU methods.
2013-01-04 04:01:34 PM  
2 votes:
"We don't need nuclear weapons. We have rocks. In space. We can drop them on your heads."
2013-01-04 04:03:33 PM  
1 vote:
Because with rising ocean levels, what we really need is something to make the tides higher.
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