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Topic: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: maxter
Posted 2012-04-23 02:19:18 and read 4394 times.

Appears some Google execs, founders and James Cameron are off to mine some asteroids... maybe.

Announcement soon.

http://www.watoday.com.au/technology...mine-asteroids-20120423-1xflj.html

Cheers,

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: connies4ever
Posted 2012-04-23 02:47:08 and read 4380 times.

Perhaps they'll send Cameron out there and drop him off.  
Long-winded overrated director who makes pedestrian films.
Aliens - derivative
Titanic - dreadful film that was made worse by being far too long
Avatar - visually stunning for sure, but storyline, which is the important thing, basically linear. How many times have we seen "the evil advanced tech society committing genocide" ? White society killing off the aboriginals, miners driving the farmers/cattlemen off their ranch ?

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: Oroka
Posted 2012-04-25 20:59:01 and read 4121 times.

I see this going bad. Big money going into this, it becomes prohibitively expensive and quietly looses support of its investors.

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: QFA380
Posted 2012-04-26 00:59:15 and read 4094 times.

I think we'll see cold fusion before we see any commercial quantity of minerals return to earth. Which will probably make it cheaper and easier to manufacture minerals than mine them from asteroids. A few protons knocked around here and there and voila, all the gold you need.

The present prices are too low anyway for this to occur, when prices do rise, again recycling or something else will be easier. I read that it would take about 5 launches before the 'mining ship' actually went up. Unless they also built a processing facility in space it would probably be hard to transport a bunch of rocks back to earth.

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: connies4ever
Posted 2012-04-26 04:25:57 and read 4065 times.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
I see this going bad. Big money going into this, it becomes prohibitively expensive and quietly looses support of its investors.

I see this as a bunch of uber-rich guys plumping their egos. As QFA380 indicated, prices are way too low for this to be feasible. And we don't actually know IF the minerals desired are actually there - the rare earths, anyway. There are alternative sources outside China, it's just that they have the great majority of KNOWN resources. Perhaps we should be looking a little more closely here on Earth. I know for a fact that there are significant deposits of Tantalum and lithium near Winnipeg (actually near Pinawa MB,where I used to live). Place called Bernic Lake.

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: speedbird217
Posted 2012-04-26 07:54:30 and read 4032 times.

Why not? I mean, it does sound very ambitious and a little crazy. But if these people want to invest their money in it, let them do it. Imagine where we would be without visionaries today, probably still living in caves.

It's gonna be interesting to see where this is going. There is a lot of potential in space and we won't have another choice but start to expand our presence there. Space and oceans are the only things left for us to explore. I'd rather have them mining asteroids than exploiting the last resources on this planet.

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: connies4ever
Posted 2012-04-26 08:16:18 and read 4022 times.

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 5):
Why not? I mean, it does sound very ambitious and a little crazy. But if these people want to invest their money in it, let them do it. Imagine where we would be without visionaries today, probably still living in caves.

Oh absolutely, if they wish to invest in this venture, by all means. But I think the risk to investment capital is pretty high, and if I were a financial advisor, which I am not, I would strongly recommend avoiding it.

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-04-26 11:56:12 and read 3964 times.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 1):
Avatar - visually stunning for sure, but storyline, which is the important thing, basically linear.

AKA "Dances With Wolves" in space . . . But Wolves had a better music score.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 3):
space it would probably be hard to transport a bunch of rocks back to earth.

Look up "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum_exchange_tether"

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 5):
Why not? I mean, it does sound very ambitious and a little crazy. But if these people want to invest their money in it, let them do it. Imagine where we would be without visionaries today, probably still living in caves.

   Seattle made a tone of money selling stuff to all the Alaskan gold prospectors . . . at the very least, there will be a few aerospace jobs to support this endeavor.

bt

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: francoflier
Posted 2012-04-27 02:04:00 and read 3871 times.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 3):
Which will probably make it cheaper and easier to manufacture minerals

The amount of energy required to form heavy minerals and metal atoms on the scale we need them is mind boggling!
It took generations upon generations of stars to form metals which represent a very tiny fraction of the Universe's mass...
When we eventually run out of metals on earth, then it will be financially interesting to mine them from somewhere else in the solar system.
But that's not for tomorrow. There's still a lot of it under our feet and let's not forget that we recycle most of it nowadays.

I can't imagine what the price of a ton of iron (or even platinum) ore brought from an asteroid would be!

Still, they should try and convince Michael Bay to invest in this little venture. Here's another guy I wouldn't mind go broke (and quiet). It shouldn't be hard, just tell him there might be giant robots out there...

[Edited 2012-04-27 02:06:24]

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-04-27 06:46:30 and read 3831 times.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 8):

I can't imagine what the price of a ton of iron (or even platinum) ore brought from an asteroid would be!

As I recall from the news, one item that can mined would be H2O, which would be more easily extracted and may cost way less than having to ship the stuff up from Earth. H2O with sufficient energy can be converted to propellant for space travel. Think "nuclear (solar) powered" hydrogen/oxygen factory/gas station in space.

bt

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: connies4ever
Posted 2012-04-27 07:25:46 and read 3822 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 9):
As I recall from the news, one item that can mined would be H2O, which would be more easily extracted and may cost way less than having to ship the stuff up from Earth. H2O with sufficient energy can be converted to propellant for space travel. Think "nuclear (solar) powered" hydrogen/oxygen factory/gas station in space.

All well and good but to split H2O into hydrogen and oxygen is a net energy loss (i.e., you have to put in much more than you get out), so you'd need a large energy source on-site in order to do the splitting, something either nuclear or solar. probably nuclear since solar photovoltaic is pretty inefficient. The cost to get that into place would not be trivial. And then, in order to use the H2 as propellant, you need to oxidize it, probably with the O2 you've just liberated.

Seems to me sticking with nuclear/solar electric for beyond LEO propulsion likely makes more sense.

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-04-27 08:15:12 and read 3818 times.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):
Seems to me sticking with nuclear/solar electric for beyond LEO

Nuclear/solar is a fine energy source, but for a propellant, you still need mass. If splitting H2O is too difficult, then perhaps generating Methane might be easier.

There was a study to generate propellant from water and CO2 on Mars for the return trip to Earth. You just have to bring you own carbon source. The linch pin for this system is the availability of H2O and a small nuclear reactor.

bt

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: Revelation
Posted 2012-04-28 08:59:23 and read 3700 times.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 8):
I can't imagine what the price of a ton of iron (or even platinum) ore brought from an asteroid would be!

These guys are idiots! Even if they could find an asteroid made of gold bars or uranium pellets, they'd still lose their shirts! Is it April 1st on some alternate calendar system?

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-04-29 08:13:31 and read 3619 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):

When you're billionaires, you can afford to lose a few shirts 

bt

Topic: RE: New Startup To Mine Asteroids
Username: francoflier
Posted 2012-04-29 13:48:43 and read 3593 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
These guys are idiots!

They probably are, but they're also visionaries.

Yes, they're doomed to fail, but then running a mundane airline is usually enough to render a billionaire near shirtless.
At least they're going out in style!

And who else would pioneer projects like these?
Anyone else going to the bank with something like this would be walked to the door by a laughing security guard.

'I'll loan you money, but how will you give it all back + enough to make me rich in 5 years' is the usual line of thinking these days. My grandad's generation is still making fun of mine because at least they went to the moon and crossed the Atlantic in 3 hours...

I say aim for those asteroids. They'll end up under a bridge, but it won't be a loss for all of us.
  


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