Author Topic: Near Earth Asteroid Mining Venture  (Read 935 times)

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Offline Lav

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Near Earth Asteroid Mining Venture
« on: April 24, 2012, 01:57:20 PM »
This is starting to hit the media - a space company funded by several billionaires is getting into the near-earth game.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/04/24/breaking-private-company-does-indeed-plan-to-mine-asteroids-and-i-think-they-can-do-it/

If you read into it, it's very exciting and would accelerate our space development enormously... if they succeed. The commercial telescopes could also at some point be used to search for unknown asteroids that might have Earth impact potential or just old fashioned mining potential.
 

Offline HaliRyan

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Re: Near Earth Asteroid Mining Venture
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 02:14:39 PM »
I really just can't see any way for them to make money with this.
 

Offline xeryon

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Re: Near Earth Asteroid Mining Venture
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 03:10:49 PM »
Collecting minerals from objects outside our atmosphere would allow us to refuel spacecraft if the object was of the right composition.  We wouldn't need to drag along all the fuel needed to reach Mars, for example, and allow much smaller and cheaper surface launch vehicles.  It seems funny, but simple compounds refined from moon or asteroid materials are extremely valuable.  It costs a lot of money to get something into orbit.
 

Offline Lav

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Re: Near Earth Asteroid Mining Venture
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 03:38:42 PM »
There's a quote in there about launch costs of $20,000 per liter of water. Yikes. If you can get some water from an asteroid for cheaper.... that's a big 'if', though.

They are moving slowly. Their first step is a series of relatively inexpensive optical scopes. They won't run out of capital for a while at this rate.
 

 

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