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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:35 PM

New venture 'to mine asteroids'

Source: BBC News: Science

A new venture is joining the effort to extract mineral resources on asteroids.

The announcement of plans by Deep Space Industries to exploit the rare metals present in the space rocks turns asteroid mining into a two-horse race.

The other venture, Planetary Resources, went public with its proposals last year.

Advocates of asteroid mining hope it could turn into a trillion-dollar business, but some scientists are highly sceptical of the idea.

Deep Space Industries wants to send a fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft out into the Solar System to hunt for resources.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21144769

15 replies, 1812 views

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:39 PM

1. Won't be long before the usual Misanthrope Luddite brigade denounces this...

as the spread of the "cancer" of Mankind.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:40 PM

2. I'd rather strip mine an asteroid, than part of the earth.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:49 PM

4. I agree.

But the Misanthropes can't be reasoned with.

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:40 PM

3. Live webcast at 10am PST

http://www.newspacewatch.com/articles/deep-space-industries-describe-asteroid-resources-plan.html

Deep Space Industries describe asteroid resources plan
January 22 2013 02:32:39 PM | by Clark Lindsey, Managing Editor
As mentioned earlier, the Deep Space Industries news conference will be webcast live today at 10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST / 17:00 UTC. The feeds will be available at:

Deep Space Industries Live Announcement - YouTube
Spacevidcast For the space geek in all of us - Spacevidcast Live Channel

The company, however, has already released this morning a statement describing many details of the project. Highlights include;

- 2015: "Firefly" small sats (25kg) will be launched on 1-way trips to prospect for materials of interest on near earth asteroids.
- 2016: "DragonFly" small sats (32kg) will be launched on 2-4 year round-trip missions to asteroids to bring back samples of 25 to 65 kg
- They will get to space via low-cost piggyback rides on commercial geostationary communications satellite launches.
- They have developed a 3D printing system called MicroGravity Foundry that uses nickel to create "high-density high-strength metal components even in zero gravity".
- Aim to use asteroid water to provide fuel (LH2/LOX) and asteroid metals for parts for NASA deep space missions, commercial communcations platforms, in-space habitats,etc.
- Corporate sponsorships and public participation are key goals.
- No word regarding their current funding level or their sources of funding.

<snip>

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:57 PM

5. I don't know, lad.

It's like no cheese I've ever tasted.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:19 PM

8. Better remember to pack a few skiing brochures, just in case (nt)

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Response to Orrex (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:46 PM

14. Did you forget the crackers, Grommit?

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:08 PM

6. "Aim to use asteroid water to provide fuel (LH2/LOX) and asteroid metals for parts "

I gotta love the optimism!

But I think the fuel they're really looking for is OPM (Other People's Money).

If they get the minerals, can they call them "rare earth"?

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:13 PM

7. Well it's going to happen sooner or later

At least something we were expecting for the 21st Century seems to be happening. Still no Jetson's future though.

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:20 PM

9. Are they going to wait for Atari to go out of business first?

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:36 PM

10. Better be careful on which asteroid to land on.

There's some nasty shit out there.

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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:47 PM

11. I cannot believe nobody else sees...

... a certain other implication which will naturally evolve from this.

Imagine, if you will, our solar system as a cliff face, with the sun as the valley floor and the planets and smaller bodies as edifices at various heights up the cliff according to their distance from the sun.

What can the person farthest up the cliff do to everyone else the easiest, at any distance below him?

Piss on 'em, that's what.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:18 PM

12. In space, no one can hear you piss

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Response to sofa king (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:35 AM

15. Strangely enough the Sun is actually kind of hard to get to in energy terms from orbit

You have to kill all of Earth's orbital velocity to drop something straight into the Sun, that's ~30km/sec, you could use Venus as a gravity assist slingshot but it would take multiple passes to make much difference in the delta vee requirements.

Orbital mechanics are remarkably non-intuitive.





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Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:19 PM

13. 'Home is where the heart is ... but the stars are made of latinum'

#13, Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

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