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Author Topic: Another company enters the asteroid mining arena  (Read 449 times)

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Offline Ken

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“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
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Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Another company enters the asteroid mining arena
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 05:31:24 PM »
Yes, Insty was featuring this one today, too.  Sure, asteroid mining is the flavor of the month in the civilian space theater right now.  But none of these guys is going to be shoveling significant amounts of metals into vast asteroid factories (or down to earth) much before 2035.  Hell, I'd like to see it earlier, and I'd like to see them building the Space Elevator from the top down with this tech.

But it ain't gonna be here by next Tuesday, or anywhere close.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone


Offline Ken

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Re: Another company enters the asteroid mining arena
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 06:28:16 PM »
Bill, are you under the impression that the profit motive isn't sufficient enough motivator?

Don't forget, a factory usually takes 18 to 24 months to build, and in this case, you could have a factory of factories. And you could have many ways of delivering the stuff to earth, including building rail gun canisters to chuck back to earth ala "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (one of the reasons I favor crashing the asteroid on the Moon.)

And let's not forget, the new tax laws make becoming an American Trillionaire <sp?>  much, much harder. (Otherwise, why are so many investors of PRI leaving our wonderful shores?)
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline BooMushroom

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Re: Another company enters the asteroid mining arena
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 06:37:12 PM »
They have to get a space pickup big enough to hold it, and strong enough to push it.  Or figure out how to break it up in situ and bring parts back.

37 pounds of gold is a million bucks, and you don't have to pay to lift it, only bring it back.

Seems like a good set of incentives to solve the problem.

Offline Ken

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Re: Another company enters the asteroid mining arena
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 06:43:50 PM »
Like I said crash it on the Moon, and launch it back to earth via railgun.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Another company enters the asteroid mining arena
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 07:24:07 PM »
Like I said, 2035 before significant returns that have any noticeable effect on life in the Solar System.

And no, I'm not worried about profit as a motivator.  Absent that, it might take several more centuries.  Anyway, motivation and ability: two different things.

UPDATE:  I should add that once we do start to see returns, they will pile up very quickly.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 07:25:51 PM by Bill Quick »
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline Ken

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Re: Another company enters the asteroid mining arena
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 07:52:29 PM »
Mmmm, do you know how long it took for the gold and diamond mines, in Canada, to develop?  They still don't even have roads to the area (hence the Ice Road Truckers)

Come to that, wasn't the Apollo program developed in less than a decade?

How long, until the Wild West was settled?  Or how long the Gold Rush was.   And one of the biggest things, is when's the next metallic asteroid going to happen by, within the lunar orbit?
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke


 

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