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Thread: Asteroid mining

  1. #211
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    I don’t see much main belt asteroid mining happening unless people start living there. I struggle to find other plausible reasons for mining there.

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  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    No, it’s not like the Expanse. Actually, it’s like what I’ve talked about for years, and why I was annoyed with how the Expanse handled Ceres. Although it has nothing to do with terraforming, as they claim.

    The Expanse had a loony idea where Ceres was spun up for centrifugal gravity and the interior inhabited. But Ceres is massive, so that would be ridiculous even with fusion rockets, and it would undoubtedly tear it apart, since that would exceed its self gravity.

    For many years, it’s been obvious to me that it makes more sense to build O’Neill style habitats near an asteroid rather than build a habitat on or in an asteroid where it would be more work to have centrifugal gravity. Also it would be easier to gather sunlight if not on the asteroid. And Ceres would be one of the best options since it is large enough to be fairly differentiated, so much better than a smaller rock which is more likely to be lacking in many important elements. It has enough gravity you can actually stand on the surface, but it still doesn’t need a rocket to lift material off the surface - it doesn’t take much to throw it with a mechanical system or mass driver, and a space elevator could be built there with currently available materials.
    Didn't it also have Ceres somehow water-poor, when the net composition of the actual place could be described as particularly soggy mud?

    Physically attaching the habitat to the asteroid maximizes access to the asteroid while eliminating the issues of maintaining orbit, controlling attitude, etc. It doesn't seem likely to be a huge problem mechanically given the nearly nonexistent gravity, a bigger problem would be stabilizing the surface so the habitat doesn't get showered with debris whenever anyone touches anything.

    For small asteroids, an approach I've always liked would be to wrap the asteroid in mesh and plastic sheeting, anchor tethers to the wrapping, and use it as a counterweight for a bola-style habitat.

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    Didn't it also have Ceres somehow water-poor, when the net composition of the actual place could be described as particularly soggy mud?
    I believe in the Expanse, the excuse was that Ceres had been stripped to the core to get all the water for Martian terraforming. A handwave to drive conflict.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I believe in the Expanse, the excuse was that Ceres had been stripped to the core to get all the water for Martian terraforming. A handwave to drive conflict.
    They extracted and exported it all, down to dehydrating every last grain of rock, when leaving a fraction of a percent behind would have made no difference at all to the terraforming effort, probably reduced extraction costs by an order of magnitude, and indefinitely supported Ceres habitation with no imports?

  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    They extracted and exported it all, down to dehydrating every last grain of rock, when leaving a fraction of a percent behind would have made no difference at all to the terraforming effort, probably reduced extraction costs by an order of magnitude, and indefinitely supported Ceres habitation with no imports?
    And spun up the whole planetoid for gravity.

    Yeah. That.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #216
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    NASA is going to select a small asteroid (only about 7-10 meters in diameter), which is located near the Earth, and push it to the Moon. There is also an alternative plan - to split the larger asteroid in two, and send the smaller one to the Moon. It should be noted that the program will not be that expensive. That is, the amount will be substantial - it is 1.25-2.6 billion US dollars, but still lifting even for a single organization. The asteroid is planned to be studied in order to obtain information on its origin and properties. Using one object as an example, it will be possible to work out the redirection scheme for other space objects. NASA is busy selecting one of three asteroids to send an unmanned mission. Then the astronauts in the special suits will collect minerals from the asteroid.

  7. 2021-Jan-13, 09:39 AM
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  8. #217
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    Yes, and that’s great for scientific research and testing technologies, but not so great for economic mining. It costs reaction mass (they are planning to use xenon, which is rare and expensive) and most of what is brought back would only be useful as radiation shielding. For economic commercial mining, they would want to pick low delta v asteroids and probably do the mining on site, so they only need return what they want. Though maybe they could do something with a large solar sail to return small asteroids. No chemical fuel or ion thruster reaction mass requirements involved.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  9. #218
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    Why do some regions on the dwarf planet Ceres appear blue? Impact events experienced by Ceres during the recent past caused material mixed with ice to rise to the surface. The water ice embedded in the crystal structure of the clay minerals then sublimed. What remained was a finely porous dust that reflects sunlight with a blue colour due to its 'fluffy' structure.

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/W..._blue_999.html
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  10. #219
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    Mining asteroids with microbes: The experimenters want to see how BioAsteroid's combination of bacteria and fungi interact with the rock in reduced gravity, including to observe whether characteristic 'biofilms' will be grown on rock surfaces, comparable to dental plaque on teeth. The microbes could in the future be cultivated to help mine resources. So-called bio-mining has potential on Earth and in space exploration to recover economically useful elements from rock, as well as creating fertile soil from lunar dust.

    https://phys.org/news/2021-01-asteroids-microbes.html
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  11. #220
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    On Asteroid Retrieval Missions Enabled by Invariant Manifold Dynamics.

    In recent years, the retrieval of entire asteroids has received significant attention, with many approaches leveraging the invariant manifolds of the Circular-Restricted Three-body Problem to capture an asteroid into a periodic orbit about the L1 or L2 points of the Sun-Earth system. Previous works defined an `Easily Retrievable Object' (ERO) as any Near-Earth Object (NEO) which is retrievable using these invariant manifolds with an impulsive Δv of less than 500 m/s. We extend the previous literature by analysing the Pareto fronts for the EROs discovered for the first time, using high-performance computing to lift optimisation constraints used in previous literature, and modifying the method used to filter unsuitable NEOs from the NEO catalogue. In doing so, we can demonstrate that EROs have approximately the same transfer cost for almost any possible transfer time, including single impulse transfers, which could offer significant flexibility to mission designers. We also identify 44 EROs, of which 27 are new, and improve on previously-known transfer solutions by up to 443 m/s, including 17 new capture trajectories with Δv costs of less than 100 m/s.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.07610

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  12. #221
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    NASA’s Psyche Mission to Explore a Metal-Rich Asteroid Passes Key Milestone. Now just a year and a half from launch, the mission to explore a metal-rich asteroid will soon begin assembling and testing the spacecraft.

    https://scitechdaily.com/nasas-psych...key-milestone/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  13. #222
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    As far as mining goes, even the mistakes can be useful, like the recent sampling "flap" at Bennu. We know what another potential problem is.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  14. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    As far as mining goes, even the mistakes can be useful, like the recent sampling "flap" at Bennu. We know what another potential problem is.
    Not sure what the "flap" was. Was it this? https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...er-leak-bennu/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  15. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Not sure what the "flap" was. Was it this? https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...er-leak-bennu/
    Yes. As we gain more experience manipulating particulate regolith and gravel "in the field" so to speak, we will continue to learn the non-trivial limitations and challenges of doing so.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #225
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    "Experts warn of brewing space mining war among US, China and Russia"

    https://www.mining.com/experts-warn-...na-and-russia/

    A brewing war to set a mining base in space is likely to see China and Russia joining forces to keep the US increasing attempts to dominate extra-terrestrial commerce at bay, experts warn.
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  17. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Experts warn of brewing space mining war among US, China and Russia"

    https://www.mining.com/experts-warn-...na-and-russia/
    War? Now economic competition is a "war?"
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  18. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    War? Now economic competition is a "war?"
    Unless there is agreement on how territory is managed, on the moon for example, we going to get into disputes.
    I am because we are
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  19. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Unless there is agreement on how territory is managed, on the moon for example, we going to get into disputes.
    Disputes yes. War no.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  20. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    War? Now economic competition is a "war?"
    I don’t know if it’s a good thing, but “war”:is often used metaphorically to describe a conflict, as in “trade war”, where there is actually no real war going on.
    As above, so below

  21. #230
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    Yeah, but given the current tensions and claims over space it seems a singularly poorly chosen metaphor. And that's as far as I can say without causing trouble.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  22. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Yeah, but given the current tensions and claims over space it seems a singularly poorly chosen metaphor. And that's as far as I can say without causing trouble.
    I totally agree noclevername.

  23. #232
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    Mining asteroids--a new overview on the process.

    Furthering Asteroid Resource Utilization in the Next Decade through Technology Leadership

    Chris Lewicki (Interplanetary Enterprises), Amara Graps (Baltics in Space and Planetary Science Institute), Martin Elvis (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian), Philip Metzger (University of Central Florida), Andrew Rivkin (Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University)

    A significant opportunity for synergy between pure research and asteroid resource research exists. We provide an overview of the state of the art in asteroid resource utilization, and highlight where we can accelerate the closing of knowledge gaps, leading to the utilization of asteroid resources for growing economic productivity in space.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.02435
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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