Space-Mining Company Prepares for Launch

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blackrave:
Am I'm only one concerned here?
Asteroid belt of solar system serves as a shield for Earth
Mining them would be risky

I'm pretty doubtful we'll put much of a dent in it.

blackrave:
Am I'm only one concerned here?
Asteroid belt of solar system serves as a shield for Earth
Mining them would be risky

to be fair, asteroid mining operations can easily be repurposed to destroy incoming threats, not to mention, a simple ion thruster (they recently made a 200 GRAM version) attached to a asteroid would be enough to veer it away, not to mention we could always nuke it away :P )

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*Please note that beauty is subjective and you may not percieve our computers as we do!

+This product is not intended for daily consumption. Daily consumption will cause you gain weight rapidly!

=Please note that you may actually find a better phone elsewhere. The quality of phones is subjective

blackrave:
Am I'm only one concerned here?
Asteroid belt of solar system serves as a shield for Earth
Mining them would be risky

Actually it doesn't. Earth's greatest defense is the fact that space is so big and that the chances of an asteroid of sufficient size to hit us are so small. The belt is not like the asteroid field in Empire Strikes Back; its mostly empty space. As such, it does nothing for protecting Earth.

Weyland-Yutani, here we come... or should i say, Cameron-Google

blackrave:
Am I'm only one concerned here?
Asteroid belt of solar system serves as a shield for Earth
Mining them would be risky

Man up and stop being a wimp.

We must make a giant red mining ship called "Red Dwarf". There must always be somebody called "Lister" on the ship at any one time. There will also be a ship cat. Every Friday the crew will be served curry and lager.

blackrave:
Am I'm only one concerned here?
Asteroid belt of solar system serves as a shield for Earth
Mining them would be risky

That's untrue. The asteroid belt is actually fairly sparse because, hey, space is a really big damn place. It's not like Star Wars, our asteroid belt has thousands of objects it in but they're still so spread out that the area pretty much looks like empty space.

OT: I don't get people thinking that if this were done through private industry that it would be bad. All mining on Earth is currently done privately. The government(s) not only would have little incentive to undertake such a thing, but they would almost assuredly do it in the least efficient way possible. Look at NASA. They are floundering in all efforts to replace the Space Shuttle, but companies like SpaceX plan to launch a manned flight by 2015. Oh, and their launch system is safer and cost 1/3 of anything NASA has.

This is awesome. Soon, we can move on to planet cracking.

Well, I'm glad to see that people have grown a brain and decided to mine distant planets and mine some Helium-3.

so this begs the question... Space Piracy?

albino boo:
Commodities prices are high right now but by they time they launch they could have tumbled. I don't think its going to be economic in the next 50 years to exploit even near earth asteroids. The launch costs are just to high and the risks involved with landing minerals comes close irresponsible. The only way to make it worth while is to launch 10s tons which will be moving at 25000 mph. Get the re-entry wrong and say goodbye to a major city.

If all else fails aim around Africa, not much to ruin there!

Space minerals at negligible cost! Or if ya want to get fancy, have it splash down in the ocean somewhere shallow, let subs collect it.

Yeah, maybe I overreacted (but do not dare to touch our planets poles)
Anyway private corporations would achieve space mining at more efficient costs

SpAc3man:

We must make a giant red mining ship called "Red Dwarf". There must always be somebody called "Lister" on the ship at any one time. There will also be a ship cat. Every Friday the crew will be served curry and lager.

I'm not sure I know what you are talking about.
Maybe you could explain please

blackrave:

SpAc3man:

We must make a giant red mining ship called "Red Dwarf". There must always be somebody called "Lister" on the ship at any one time. There will also be a ship cat. Every Friday the crew will be served curry and lager.

I'm not sure I know what you are talking about.
Maybe you could explain please

Red Dwarf is the greatest space comedy of all time.
Named for the mining ship in the show.


The guy with the teeth is an evolved cat.

Nooo, mining drones are useless until tech II though! (still kinda useless)
Now, can we have real life Hulkageddons then?

Wakikifudge:

chadachada123:

albino boo:

This brings me on to my second point. Which is cheaper recycling minerals already extracted, or lunching robots travailing at 25000 mph, moving 1/2 million miles, mining a 2 ton asteroid, repeat until you have a few tons, then launching5 tons of iron back at Earth and losing 2/3 of mass on rentry. This isn't hydrocarbons we are talking about here its basic elements. The reason why iron is more common than than gold is due the laws of physics, the heaver the element the less of it of created by fusion in stars or by super novas. Yes there are vast quantities of minerals out there but they are going to be in roughly the same distribution you find on Earth. In other words you going to find vastly more iron than you are gold. Even at todays prices iron ore is dirt cheap. Even if you do find a 20 ton lump of pure gold, what do think that's going to do the price of gold? The markets can respond quicker than you can get the gold on the ground. The more you find the less its worth.

We aren't talking about iron or gold, though. We're talking about nickel and phosphorous and argon and tritium and a bunch of other stuff that is heading towards limited supply.

There was a great article I read not too long ago about some of the elements we use for electronics that is running desperately low but is found in great abundance in asteroids, if only I could find it.

Ya they aren't really concerned about iron or gold. They are more concerned about water and then various platinum metals that can ONLY be found in asteroids.

Water? Running low? You mean that wet stuff that covers most of our planet? o.O

Don't mean to sound stupid, but how on earth is that running low...surely if worse comes to worse they could just purify seawater, removing the salt and making it safe to drink? :S

arc1991:

Wakikifudge:

chadachada123:

We aren't talking about iron or gold, though. We're talking about nickel and phosphorous and argon and tritium and a bunch of other stuff that is heading towards limited supply.

There was a great article I read not too long ago about some of the elements we use for electronics that is running desperately low but is found in great abundance in asteroids, if only I could find it.

Ya they aren't really concerned about iron or gold. They are more concerned about water and then various platinum metals that can ONLY be found in asteroids.

Water? Running low? You mean that wet stuff that covers most of our planet? o.O

Don't mean to sound stupid, but how on earth is that running low...surely if worse comes to worse they could just purify seawater, removing the salt and making it safe to drink? :S

I never said we were running low but they plan on collecting this water and keeping it in space to save on the costs of having to launch it from Earth. Here's a link that goes a bit more in depth than the one provided and which gives a couple paragraphs to the possible uses of space water: http://news.yahoo.com/asteroid-mining-venture-backed-google-execs-james-cameron-011205183.html

Please let them find something which would then justify the massive expense that it would take for humans to start an extra terrestrial colonization effort.

I really don't want to live on this planet anymore, but only because I find it boring.

I'm still failing to understand how commercial resource extraction is supposed to work given the wording of international treaties on space exploration; how is it to the benefit of all mankind for one American corporation to make money selling the equipment, another to make money mining and selling the raw resources, and a third to make money refining the resources and flogging them on the open market?

I have no issues with, indeed I encourage, the creation of such technologies by the private sector, but if we're going to begin exploiting the resources of the gas giants and asteroid belt, then those efforts should at the least be coordinated by some form of International Space Agency, to ensure we don't get any crazy bullshit like corporations owning Mars or the USA declaring the Moon a State, and ideally the entire process should be "nationalised" on a global scale, with each nation that contributes funding to the ISA awarded proportional rights to exploit space resources through either a government-owned company or an independent non-profit.

Seriously people, all these sci-fi stories about corporate colonisation are cautionary tales, not blueprints.

FUCK YEAH!

Oh good, and I thought we were going to rot and die on this rock, but it appears we aren't as fucked as I once thought.

If we're starting exploration in a few years time then a full mining operation or even colony could be 20-50 years away.

Once we've dug up most of Brazil and Australia then thats it, we need other sources of metals (the ocean may be a better starting point).

This could be a wildly inaccurate assumption that I'm sure someone will enjoy pointing out, but if we start bringing tons and tons of stuff back to Earth from other planets, isn't that eventually going to affect the mass of our planet, which in turn will alter our (and other nearby planets') orbit and rotation...?

Um, finally.

SpAc3man:
We must make a giant red mining ship called "Red Dwarf". There must always be somebody called "Lister" on the ship at any one time. There will also be a ship cat. Every Friday the crew will be served curry and lager.

You obviously had the same thought as me. As soon as I saw this article, I went straight to Netflix to watch Red Dwarf :D

Very interesting, with any luck we might have cause to expand the periodic table a bit.

juyunseen:
This is all well and good, but when are we finally gonna figure out how to build a safe space elevator?

Bout the time we get carbon nanotubes perfected. The main problem right now is that we don't have anything capable of withstanding the stresses that such an elevator would withstand.

Cpu46:

juyunseen:
This is all well and good, but when are we finally gonna figure out how to build a safe space elevator?

Bout the time we get carbon nanotubes perfected. The main problem right now is that we don't have anything capable of withstanding the stresses that such an elevator would withstand.

Well at least I got an actual answer on that. I was fairly certain we didn't have the right materials, or at least not enough of them

juyunseen:

Cpu46:

juyunseen:
This is all well and good, but when are we finally gonna figure out how to build a safe space elevator?

Bout the time we get carbon nanotubes perfected. The main problem right now is that we don't have anything capable of withstanding the stresses that such an elevator would withstand.

Well at least I got an actual answer on that. I was fairly certain we didn't have the right materials, or at least not enough of them

Yea but a lot of people predict that Carbon Nanotubes are going to let us make stuff like space elevators and massive structures. And once we have a way to easily and cheaply (well relatively cheaply) move materials to space there should be a whole new space revolution.

Just don't name one of the ships Nostromo.

NASA wants to mine the close-to-earth asteroids. Private companies making efford to find resources in space.

YEAHAA the space age i dreamed about is finally coming aruond. and ill get to see it.

Am I'm only one concerned here?
Asteroid belt of solar system serves as a shield for Earth
Mining them would be risky

Not really. as far as comets and fly-bys go, such huge bodies as saturn or jupiter with their gravitational pull serves as a much better shield. as far as gas clouds and radiation goes, asteroid belt does not affect it, the sun radiation cloud behind planets does.
The real danger here is mass. if we start bringing asteroids to earth we will increase its mass, therefore sun will pull us more. if we bring in enough mass, we may end up stearing our planet towards the sun. slowly. then again there are many asteroids burnign into our atmosphere each year, and they dont seem to affect it.

Don't mean to sound stupid, but how on earth is that running low...surely if worse comes to worse they could just purify seawater, removing the salt and making it safe to drink? :S

if the consumption trends continue, the drinable water will run out in 50 years around. purifying sea water at such high amounts as we consume would take enormous efforts.

You know what, hats off to these guys for taking the first steps.

They are taking a huge risk by investing in spaceships,and failure could cost them billions of dollars.

But someone has to be willing to do this. If they prove that such a thing is feasible it will inspire others to do the same, negating fears of a dystopian future run by a mega corporation, and will also indirectly cause the formation of other companies dedicated to improving all aspects of space travel and mining.

With so many hands working on one thing it will only be a matter of time until Faster Than Light travel is figured out and the real fun can begin.

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