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2013-01-23 Science & Technology
US company aims to 'harvest' asteroids
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Posted by Fred 2013-01-23 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [10806 views ]  Top

#1 They wouldn't allow an oil pipeline, they would allow SPS?
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2013-01-23 02:13||   2013-01-23 02:13|| Front Page Top

#2 I want to see them land a Million Ton Freighter, that should end this nonsense.
Posted by Redneck Jim 2013-01-23 10:34||   2013-01-23 10:34|| Front Page Top

#3 Rods from God would be cheap with these platforms. Of course even cheaper would be Rocks from God - (redirected asteroids)
Posted by Water Modem 2013-01-23 10:37||   2013-01-23 10:37|| Front Page Top

#4 You can use various microwave-based schemes or high-powered lasers.

Do not look into laser with remaining eye.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-01-23 10:39||   2013-01-23 10:39|| Front Page Top

#5 I remember when NASA landed the probe on the asteroid Eros back in '99 or so. 900 trillion worth of platinum on that one asteroid IIRC. What's the need to prospect when density and composition can be determined before landing? Maybe by "prospecting" they mean seeing if they can successfully land a probe and return it with payload in a viable and economical way.
Posted by Lowspark 2013-01-23 11:08||   2013-01-23 11:08|| Front Page Top

#6 Gonna need some serious genetic engineering to develop space burros for the prospectors.
Posted by Glenmore 2013-01-23 11:35||   2013-01-23 11:35|| Front Page Top

#7 Maybe by "prospecting" they mean seeing if they can successfully land a probe and return it with payload in a viable and economical way.

Bring back samples to be assayed, test out sensors for detecting other valuable minerals and metals. I say good, sooner the better, because at the rate government is going it wouldn't get done.
Posted by High Heeled Boy 2013-01-23 12:53||   2013-01-23 12:53|| Front Page Top

#8 SciFi story on this theme in Analog decades ago. Problem was, as a letter to the editor explained, that the asteroid or whatever mass is taken from it, is going one way, and we're going another. How much energy does it take to get it--asteroid or mined mass--to where we want it? Say, to a stable orbit far out. Then, once the item is manufactured, to get it to the customer.
Posted by Richard Aubrey  2013-01-23 13:58||   2013-01-23 13:58|| Front Page Top

#9 You have to slow an asteroid down, to drop it into a lower solar orbit - and avoid running into anything. Like a planet.
Posted by Muggsy Mussolini1226 2013-01-23 14:52||   2013-01-23 14:52|| Front Page Top

#10 Richard Aubrey, if they find that out they can be on the forefront of asteroid defense.

I suspect they intend to hitch a ride and prospect and then drop off allowing the vast bulk of the mass to continue along its course. They can then try again in a few decades when it returns.

That or you send a robot mission with a mass driver and take a long time to bring the asteroid into cislunar orbit where we can get to it.
Posted by rjschwarz 2013-01-23 15:01||   2013-01-23 15:01|| Front Page Top

#11 Better off in a Lagrangian orbit, L4 or L5. Cislunar is too close for comfort.
Posted by Muggsy Mussolini1226 2013-01-23 15:05||   2013-01-23 15:05|| Front Page Top

#12 rjschwartz
Right you are. However, in the words of the Master, TANSTAAFL.
Take a bit at a time, you need a lot of bits to be useful. Cumulatively, a lot of energy. Change orbit? Ditto.
The letter to the editor referenced asked how much energy would be necessary when you have a million-ton NiFe asteroid rotating once an hour. Memory fades, but iirc, the guy said, eighty-two Saturn Fives blasting for a week. Something like that. Then you've got that puppy continuing its orbit, but at least it isn't rotating.
Posted by Richard Aubrey  2013-01-23 15:46||   2013-01-23 15:46|| Front Page Top

#13 I actually thought that would be a good plot for a SciFi book. Terrorists hijack a asteroid mine and have it smash into the earth.
Posted by DarthVader 2013-01-23 17:23||   2013-01-23 17:23|| Front Page Top

#14 Yup, and I know what Religion the Pirates would be.
Posted by Redneck Jim 2013-01-23 18:31||   2013-01-23 18:31|| Front Page Top

#15 Redneck.
You bet. But somebody else would have to be flying it first.
Posted by Richard Aubrey  2013-01-23 19:17||   2013-01-23 19:17|| Front Page Top

23:02 JosephMendiola
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