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Thread: Asteroid mining

  1. #61
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    SLS is the only hope for NTR. Delta IV doesn't have enough of it. LOX and kerosene--or methane--might be more easily stored for chemical depots of large size. I want overbuilt tankage up there for wet/stage stations.

  2. #62
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    ASTEROID MINING, boys, NOT pros and cons of SLS.
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  3. #63
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    Here is a recent presentation of the asteroid baggy approach:
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/in...?topic=43614.0

    You know--with that design...Disney really needs to get into space documentaries again

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Here is a recent presentation of the asteroid baggy approach:
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/in...?topic=43614.0

    You know--with that design...Disney really needs to get into space documentaries again
    Hi publiusr,

    I liked this presentation. I agree with some of the notions. ISRU will be key to space development and a transportation architecture with propellant depots makes sense.

    For their proposed hardware for mining, engines, vehicles and bases, they will need deep, deep pockets (and they recognize this). But it seems to me they want to do too much. There are a handful of American companies already ahead in some areas and surely many international competitors will soon join the fray.

    Cheers

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    Hi publiusr,

    I liked this presentation. I agree with some of the notions. ISRU will be key to space development and a transportation architecture with propellant depots makes sense.

    For their proposed hardware for mining, engines, vehicles and bases, they will need deep, deep pockets (and they recognize this). But it seems to me they want to do too much. There are a handful of American companies already ahead in some areas and surely many international competitors will soon join the fray.

    Cheers
    I think they try to do too much with solar thermal, and too soon. Solar thermal steam rockets give quite poor performance (<200 s Isp) and are awkward to use, you're much better off cracking the water to make LOX/LH2 propellant. Plus any solar thermal spacecraft will be limited to a relatively narrow range of distances from the sun, and operations away from low planetary orbits.

    For processing, solar thermal systems have the advantage of being easier to fabricate in orbit (aluminum mirrors as opposed to large areas of highly refined and precision doped semiconductor), but that's something that will become important much further down the line...they're not building these asteroid processing facilities from mined materials. For future expansion, those technologies might be very useful, but they're not necessary or particularly beneficial for just getting established...they're a few generations early, and making the immediate, already extremely complicated task even more complicated than it needs to be.

  6. #66
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    Did I miss a cost/benefit analysis?

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    Did I miss a cost/benefit analysis?
    Cost Benefit Analysis? I don't really understand.

    He did mention advantages of his proposed solutions. Otherwise, there was a limited amount of handwavium and no unobtanium that I detected.

    There were questions but CBA likely would not come up as the audience seemed to be space geeks. Space geeks believe that space resources are limitless and, within decades, when AI, robotics, rocketry, etc, converge, cost/benefit analysis will be moot and so it is today.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    Cost Benefit Analysis? I don't really understand.

    He did mention advantages of his proposed solutions. Otherwise, there was a limited amount of handwavium and no unobtanium that I detected.

    There were questions but CBA likely would not come up as the audience seemed to be space geeks. Space geeks believe that space resources are limitless and, within decades, when AI, robotics, rocketry, etc, converge, cost/benefit analysis will be moot and so it is today.
    Yes, those blanket stereotypes are so helpful to rational discussions. way to keep it real!
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Yes, those blanket stereotypes are so helpful to rational discussions. way to keep it real!
    Hmm...

    The fellow mentioned they were going to a second round of funding soon. If they get the money, the investors will have done their own due diligence or CBA. Just like every other startup. And many startups are longshots. Beyond hopeful long term revenue projections (which he provided), everybody knows the seed money could be lost.

    My characterization of space geeks is accurate. Most believe and do not need a CBA to understand that our future is in space. Most believe we are on the verge of ISRU. I believe these things. The future details are blurry and I am here to gain insight on these.

    I get there are people who think space is mostly a waste of time. They should want a rigorous CBA. I assume they do not participate on this site. So that is why I find the post I replied to and your further comment odd.

    Cheers

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    Cost Benefit Analysis? I don't really understand.

    He did mention advantages of his proposed solutions. Otherwise, there was a limited amount of handwavium and no unobtanium that I detected.

    There were questions but CBA likely would not come up as the audience seemed to be space geeks. Space geeks believe that space resources are limitless and, within decades, when AI, robotics, rocketry, etc, converge, cost/benefit analysis will be moot and so it is today.
    Is the material obtained worth the effort to get it?

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    Is the material obtained worth the effort to get it?
    Well then, yes. You did miss it. There were specific dollar figures tied to mined propellant vs launch cost (or some such).

    Again, the precept is to get the automated solution in place.

    Cheers

  12. #72
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    My characterization of space geeks is accurate. Most believe and do not need a CBA to understand that our future is in space.
    IMO, your characterization of space geeks is overly broad and generalized, and largely inaccurate. My initial thought on reading it was that it was intended as insult. I now just think you don't know any better.

    To make a "everybody in group X believes Y" statement is the very definition of a stereotype, whether you are inside the group or outside. Unless you interview them all and actually find out what they think, you're just guessing. The broader the group or cause, the more varied personal beliefs and motives it will have.

    I am a space geek, and as optimistic as I try to be, I know that costs and benefits will always need to be weighed. I just think that the specifics and metrics weighed will vary over time, as they always have and continue to do.

    Frankly your description in post #67 makes us all sound like impractical dreamers who don't count the cost. And some are, to be sure. But there are plenty of engineers, accountants, and other practical, hard-number-crunching people who also fervently believe we humans have a future off Earth, and have done and continue to do the relevant calculations, measures, and yes, cost-benefit analyses to make that future happen.

    ADDED: I'm sorry for the sidetrack. I'm dropping the subject now.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2017-Sep-04 at 09:35 PM.
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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Yes, those blanket stereotypes are so helpful to rational discussions. way to keep it real!
    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    <snip>
    I get there are people who think space is mostly a waste of time. They should want a rigorous CBA. I assume they do not participate on this site. So that is why I find the post I replied to and your further comment odd.
    OK, both of you knock it off. The discussion of space geeks is completely off topic.
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  14. #74
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    I apologize. I will stick to discussing asteroid mining in this thread.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  15. #75
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    The 1st transaction for resources mined is space is about 10 years away according to the director of the Australian Center for Space Engineering Research, Andrew Dempster. And it will most probably be water.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Au...years_999.html

    The first transaction in space mining could only be 10 years away, the director of the Australian Center for Space Engineering Research, Andrew Dempster, told Xinhua on Wednesday, at the third Off Earth Mining Forum in Sydney.

    With some of the sharpest minds on hand to represent the world's leading institutions including NASA, the European Space Agency and the Hague Space Resources Governing Group, the two-day event aims to give researchers, developers and investors a window into what will soon be possible.

    Although once thought of as pure science fiction, space is set to become the new economic frontier and the future of space mining will become a huge part of that.

    "Initially we are not looking at replacing mining on earth," Dempster explained. "We are replacing stuff in space."

    Surprisingly, it seems the first commodity that will likely be mined in the cosmos, is water.

  16. #76
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    In the past, I mentioned an asteroid bola.

    Looks like nature beat me to the punch:
    http://www.sciencealert.com/astronom...-it-s-gorgeous

    A tether between them--and you might have something....

    https://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=7431
    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...Nanosatellites
    Last edited by publiusr; 2017-Sep-22 at 10:25 PM.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post

    A tether between them--and you might have something....
    Interesting.

    I think if they were two masses, it should make no difference to the trajectory but internally, the rotation would no longer be elliptical. If there were an accompanying cloud of debris and gases, then new collisions between same and the two masses would change the trajectory.

    Cheers

    Edit: Actually, as I think of it, if you tethered 2 gravitationally locked bodies and release at the right time, they could slingshot away.

    Cheers again
    Last edited by 7cscb; 2017-Sep-23 at 12:07 PM.

  18. #78
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    Yet another article on asteroid mining for water.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/asteroid-mining-1.4300783

    A team of researchers are planning to send robotic spacecraft into outer space, land near asteroids hurtling through the abyss and mine them for water, metals and other elements that will make colonizing space that much easier. Science columnist Torah Kachur explains.

    Why do we need to mine asteroids?

    Quite simply because the current economics of space flight are untenable. It costs approximately $10,000 US per kilogram every time we want to send something up to the International Space Station. Imagine $10,000 for a litre of water. Elon Musk and Space X are trying to cut those costs down by having reusable rockets, but still, the price is exorbitant.

    The reason why it is so expensive is because of the gravity of Earth; we have to propel a rocket with its payload away from Earth and out of the atmosphere and that takes a lot of energy. But once you are in outer space, there are smaller space bodies with less, if any, gravity that may contain stuff that we need for human habitation or just visits to space.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    Interesting.

    I think if they were two masses, it should make no difference to the trajectory but internally, the rotation would no longer be elliptical. If there were an accompanying cloud of debris and gases, then new collisions between same and the two masses would change the trajectory.

    Cheers

    Edit: Actually, as I think of it, if you tethered 2 gravitationally locked bodies and release at the right time, they could slingshot away.

    Cheers again

    I was thinking bag material--and tighten the tether for some gravity--sling off material in a certain direction.

  20. #80
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    Solar thermal looks to be back in the news:
    Nice robot prospector here:

    https://toughsf.blogspot.com/2017/10...33926373268660

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Though many in this forum are pessimistic on the near future of space mining, there is one American company that see a bright future in it. The first resource they are targeting is water for use as drinking water, cosmic ray protection or rocket fuel. That company is Planetary Resources. Read what they are up to.
    Planetary Resources is taking another small step towards their goal.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/planet...liftoff-india/

    Redmond, Wash.-based Planetary Resourcesí technology demonstrator satellite for asteroid prospecting is due for launch in early January, along with more than two dozen other satellites, aboard Indiaís Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

    The latest word on the schedule for the PSLV-C40 mission came today from Seattle-based Spaceflight, which is providing launch and mission services for Planetary Resourcesí Arkyd-6 and 10 other satellites.

    Arkyd-6 is only about the size of an inkjet printer, but itís designed to capture images in midwave infrared wavelengths and send them back to Earth. The imaging technology is destined to be used in future generations of Planetary Resourcesí asteroid-surveying spacecraft.

  22. #82
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    NASA is a believer in ISRU and putting R&D money into it.

    http://spacenews.com/nasa-seeks-prop...-technologies/

    NASA is seeking proposals for studies and technology development efforts related to the use of space resources, particularly as they apply to future human missions to the moon and Mars.

    NASA issued Dec. 4 an appendix to its Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships 2 (NextSTEP-2) program, calling for proposals on studies and technology development efforts related to what’s known as in situ resource utilization, or ISRU.

    The program will cover both trade studies as well as development of key components and subsystems needed to extract water, carbon dioxide and other volatiles from the Martian atmosphere and the soils of Mars, the moon, and asteroids. Such resources can then be used for life support and as propellants, reducing the reliance future expeditions have on resources transported, at significant expense, from Earth.

    NASA plans to make the bulk of the awards in one of three tracks, devoted to the development and testing of components for ISRU systems. In its solicitation, the agency said it expects to make between one and three such awards, valued at $250,000 to $500,000 per year for up to three years.

    NASA also plans to make a similar number of awards for trade studies that will examine architectures for ISRU systems and technology gaps, with each valued at about $50,000. NASA expects to make one award for both component and subsystem development worth $250,000 to $750,000 a year for up to three and a half years. As with other NextSTEP projects, NASA expects companies to share in the costs of the projects.

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