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Space mining
Posted: 22 April 2012 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Video of story here. Although the story mentions making millions. I would’ve thought for that kind of thing they’d want to make at least billions owing to the risk and expense involved.

Space mining start-up set for launch

A US corporate start-up devoted to mining asteroids for metals is to make its public debut in Seattle.

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Posted: 22 April 2012 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Finally!!

I’ve been waiting for SOME big multi-national to take up the challenge.  The things that will be added to our tech and science will be profound and widespread! (Power sources, robotics, metallurgy, etc.) cheese

Besides, how else are we to reach that magical ‘BladeRunner’ future? hmmm cool grin

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Posted: 22 April 2012 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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daveprime - 22 April 2012 08:07 AM

Besides, how else are we to reach that magical ‘BladeRunner’ future? hmmm cool grin

The flying cars would be nice, but I dunno if we’d like THAT future, all I want to say is it’s 2012, we’re over a decade into the 21st century… WHERE’S MY JETPACK????

As to mining an asteroid, I saw Moon02, & they said it’ll never work because the costs of fuel etc are too high, you gotta crash it on the Moon ( without hitting Moon City) then mine it.

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Posted: 22 April 2012 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Nah. What you do is you go to an asteroid, mine it into nice small chunks, then fling them to where you want them. It’s SLOW, but with no wind resistance, your package WILL get there. You then just catch the VW-sized hunk of asteroid, and melt it down for more mining rigs.

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Posted: 22 April 2012 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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What I’d like to know is whether or not actual people are going to be at these mines for months (or years) at a time or if it’s going to be done by robots. Because if it’s people then they’ll have a hell of a time protecting them from radiation and the effects of living in zero gravity for such a long time.

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Posted: 22 April 2012 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Probably robots with human guidance. We’ve had dozens of robot probes, so we know we can program something and have it operate for a week or so without anyone.

One nifty idea I’d heard was to simply toss a giant mylar mirror out there. Instead of resorting to brute force methods, you focus sunlight and use it to cut your material. Very energy efficient.

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Posted: 22 April 2012 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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feotu - 22 April 2012 12:14 PM

As to mining an asteroid, I saw Moon02, & they said it’ll never work because the costs of fuel etc are too high, you gotta crash it on the Moon ( without hitting Moon City) then mine it.

The main fuel costs would just be at the very beginning, if they do it right.  They’ll have to launch the initial mining and processing and fabricating equipment into space.  Once you get things started up, then I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they could set up robots to be self-fueling on whatever resources they could scrounge up out there.

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Posted: 23 April 2012 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well, that’s another advantage of the big mirror design. The whole thing acts like a solar sail, but you can also focus it on a chunk of recently-mined rock and vaporize it for reaction mass.

Again, once you get out too the asteroids, everything is gravy. You don’t need a whole lot of thrust, especially if you have robots involved, so you don’t need to hurry. Something that provides the thrust of a particularly robust Taco Bell meal would be *overkill*.

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Posted: 23 April 2012 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Is it sad that all I can think of is that maybe this is the start of Red Dwarf?

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Posted: 23 April 2012 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Not at all. It’s a good show.

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Posted: 23 April 2012 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 23 April 2012 03:37 AM

Something that provides the thrust of a particularly robust Taco Bell meal would be *overkill*.

So I could get an income as reusable rocket engine? oh oh

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Posted: 24 April 2012 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I hereby prohibit mining on my asteroids.

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