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Asteroid Mining

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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 24 Sep 2014, 13:22:33

Keith_McClary wrote:
KaiserJeep wrote:Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that anybody would give credence to some weirdo tree-worshiping cultist ideas about space technology.

I mean really - Druids?
Would you give credence to Christians?
Image


Well, I would certainly question the judgement of anyone who posted an image of a man and a dinosaur. Those species never co-existed except in the movies.
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby Sixstrings » Wed 24 Sep 2014, 13:26:10

(hey kaiser that pic is from the Creationist Museum in kentucky. They did that on purpose. They say the earth is only 6,000 years old)

pstarr wrote:It's not enough for these computer 'geniuses' to have ridden the microprocessor train to its conclusion---the phenomena of selfies.


:lol:

The internet made them wealthy beyond their own imagination and now they are looking for more imagination. Well their imaginations needs to be reigned in. Not a cent more in subsidies, contracts, or tax breaks for rocket boys.


Well aren't you a crumudgeon. Get off my lawn! Not a cent more for rockets!

You can't get away from rockets pstarr, sorry, USAF is always going to need them to launch spy satellites and such. And the US has to replace this Russian engine now, so that'll cost about 1-1.5 billion. (spacex already makes engines, dunno why gov has to pay boeing a billion dollars to create a new engine but whatever)

There's only one "rocket boy" and that's Musk, and fact is he saves the taxpayer a lot of money compared to Boeing and Lockheed.

The recent crew vehicle contracts that came out were like 1.2 billion for Boeing, and like 330ish million for SpaceX. Seems like the "rocket boy" saves the taxpayer some money no?

And, Spacex is beating the whole world on satellite launch costs. China, Europe, Russia -- none of them can compete with spacex.
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 24 Sep 2014, 15:23:37

I can't help thinking that Elon Musk is in it for the money. Yes, he is a visionary, but as a means to an end, which is Elon Musk's continuing and growing personal wealth.

Still, trickle down does work. Tesla is one of the brightest stars in Silicon Valley.

Some people are true believers in the power of governments. When we have a massive, no-holds-barred, effectively unlimited budget, governments can succeed in record time. The Manhattan Project and the Apollo Program are good examples.

When you have to make things cheaper, better, and safer all at once, only private industry can do it. Governments seem to fail regularly at these tasks:

The Space Shuttle is an example of a system that was supposed to make space travel cheaper, and made it more expensive.

The F-16 is an example of a fighter jet that was supposed to be smaller, simpler, and much cheaper than the big twin-engined F-15 it would replace. Instead it was a new complex "electric jet", with fly-by-wire, that ended up costing more than the bigger plane. Then the government decided to produce both, and to keep trying....

The likes of Burt Rutan and Elon Musk will make space travel cheaper, I have no doubt. Some such technological pioneers will go broke, but success is near IMHO.
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby Withnail » Wed 24 Sep 2014, 15:37:31

KaiserJeep wrote:When you have to make things cheaper, better, and safer all at once, only private industry can do it. Governments seem to fail regularly at these tasks:

The Space Shuttle is an example of a system that was supposed to make space travel cheaper, and made it more expensive.

The F-16 is an example of a fighter jet that was supposed to be smaller, simpler, and much cheaper than the big twin-engined F-15 it would replace. Instead it was a new complex "electric jet", with fly-by-wire, that ended up costing more than the bigger plane. Then the government decided to produce both, and to keep trying....


But surely these things weren't directly built by the government anyway, but private contractors.
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 24 Sep 2014, 17:31:18

Withnail wrote:But surely these things weren't directly built by the government anyway, but private contractors.


Of course they were built by private contractors. But the customer was the government and they were extremely insensitive to cost overuns. In fact the "military-industrial complex" is so incestuous that ex-procurement officers and decision makers from the military retire ansd step into lucrative private positions advising the defense contractors they had previously awarded weapon and airplane and spacecraft contracts to.

By contrast, someone intending to build a business in space takes a radically different approach. If I were not at the end of my life, I'd be heavily invested in SpaceX and similar firms. I think we are literally 2-3 decades from affordable, safe, and highly reliable space travel. I think we are 3-5 decades from the wholesale exploitation of space.

Unfortunately, I believe that the wealth of cheap energy, inexpensive raw materials, and exotic materials manufactured in microgravity environments and hard vacuums are going to be used to extend the natural human-carrying capacity of 9-10 billion to 15, 20, or 50 billion. When the crash comes, it will be truly awful.

At least those whose true homes are off this planet will survive, and our species will be relatively safe from extinction.
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby Sixstrings » Thu 25 Sep 2014, 01:07:17

KaiserJeep wrote:I can't help thinking that Elon Musk is in it for the money. Yes, he is a visionary, but as a means to an end, which is Elon Musk's continuing and growing personal wealth.


Actually, when he started it, everyone told him it was beyond foolish and you can't make any money just starting a rocket company out of nowhere to compete with Boeing and Lockheed -- and you don't even know anything about rockets.

At first he was just going to buy a Russian ICBM and work with that. After meeting with the Russians, he decided to go big and just make it all from scratch.

Lots of work, lots of failures, he almost went totally broke several times and barely made it -- but yep, now it's a success.

They really do deserve a lot of credit -- spacex team designed and built *rocket engines* from scratch. They got America back to space, independent of the Soyuz.

As for making money, he wants to be "the walmart of space." That means cheapest prices and the most customers. Spacex shook up the good ole boy network, by just publishing launch prices on their website. Before spacex, all the others would "charge what they think a client can pay."

Musk has one flat price for all, whoever they are.

So anyhow -- it's not always a bad thing to make money, this is a great example of profit motive and business tenacity intersecting with public good.
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby Sixstrings » Thu 25 Sep 2014, 01:10:39

pstarr wrote:Musk isn't a visionary. He's just another in a long line of American hucksters. His EV is runs on wind all right . . . it's hot air. Nothing game-changing since Chevy rightfully gave up on the EV. As for his "rocket ship" it just another kerosene candle with a Iputz attached.


Oh pstarr, you're breakin' my heart. The dragon capsule is a big deal and something for all americans to be proud of. We got back into space. Yes, it took a businessman to do it.

But it's still got the stars and stripes on it, and it was made in the USA, and merlin rocket engines are made in the USA, and he's very pro-American and he's anti-Putin and likes to compete with the Russians so -- what's the problem?

It's no easy accomplishment to design and build the largest multistage rockets since the Saturns, and design a space vehicle that can dock with the ISS, and by the way it seats 7 crew and will be taking astronauts too.

Pstarr, these accomplishments in space blow away a tesla or ipad or anything, this stuff ain't easy. And he got it done *cheap* too, saving the taxpayer billions -- why does everyone hate on him, I swear it's like Hank Reardon in atlas shrugged. :|
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby Sixstrings » Thu 25 Sep 2014, 02:02:20

Image

Image
SpaceX Dragon Supply Ship Delivers Mice, 3D Printer to Space Station
http://www.space.com/27235-spacex-supply-ship-space-station.html


SpaceX founder expects flights from Texas spaceport to begin in 2016

The company's future commercial orbital spaceport in Boca Chica, near Brownsville, could be a key player in the race to Mars, said Elon Musk, who is the CEO.

“I'm an optimist,” Musk said. “I wouldn't have gotten into the rocket business otherwise.”

Musk said SpaceX expects to begin construction on the site by mid-2015 and launch at least one commercial flight per month by late 2016.
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/SpaceX-founder-expects-flights-from-Texas-5772440.php
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Re: Asteroid Mining

Unread postby Sixstrings » Thu 25 Sep 2014, 02:19:13

Sexy rocket pictures. This appears to be the resusable rocket test one, look at the cool landing gear on that thing:

Image

And those shiny handmade American Merlin engines! No Russian engines here!

The upcoming Falcon Heavy:

Image

Dragon capsule doing a rocket landing -- eventually, no parachutes! How badass is that. :?: Do the Russians land with just rocket power? No.

Image

I'm guessing this is a Falcon 9 getting readied for launch:

Image

Dragon capsule getting loaded onto a Falcon 9 booster:

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Spacex's longterm term plan:

Image

You can see the comparisons to the old Saturn V, on the left.

And they're working on liquid methane rocket engines, called the "raptor:"

SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power

SpaceX Co-Founder and Vice President of Propulsion Development Tom Mueller has revealed the company is deep into the development of the first “full flow methane-liquid oxygen” rocket engine. Known as the Raptor, nine of these immensely powerful engines – on one or three cores – will be utilized to send SpaceX’s Super Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (SHLV) uphill on missions to Mars.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/03/spacex-advances-drive-mars-rocket-raptor-power/
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Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby Sixstrings » Tue 12 May 2015, 04:12:21

The Next Great Gold Rush Won't Be Taking Place on Earth

Already, private companies are betting big on the potential of asteroid mining and working hard to get there first. Japan launched its own asteroid mining operation last year. Serial entrepreneur and X Prize founder Peter Diamandis believes the first trillionaire will be made in space.

That's right: trillionaire.

If that's hard to imagine, just take a look at the value of one asteroid compared to what we normally think of as expensive or high-value:

What exactly makes asteroids so valuable?

Image
Image

By mining resources in space instead of transporting every material from Earth in a rocket, asteroid miners could save millions of dollars for future space missions. The mineral-rich asteroids have orbits that bring them close to Earth's atmosphere, making them relatively accessible to space miners. These mining operations could enable an unprecedented level of autonomy to future space missions, empowering bigger and better exploration efforts.

"Resources have allowed us to move into every frontier on planet earth," Chris Lewicki, president and "chief asteroid miner" at Planetary Resources, told Mic. "If we can find the same opportunity in space, we will find an economic engine to fund the exploration of space."

"Robotic missions up to asteroids are relatively recent, and we know that there are all sorts of different asteroids up there," NASA's Rebecca Keiser told Mic. "It's really hard to guarantee for these companies exactly what they are going to find when they go up and mine the asteroids."

That uncertainty is leading to a secondary market for space prospecting tools, like a new telescope. These tools will be able to locate the asteroids outside of Earth's atmosphere before choosing which one to mine. After they locate the right asteroids to mine, small robots will cling to the asteroid's surface and use drills to extract resources.

While asteroid platinum quarries might seem far away if companies are still searching for their next asteroid-shaped gold mine now, experts insist that these realities are right around the corner.

"The development, exploration and settlement of space is going to happen a lot faster than I think people think it will naturally," Lewicki said. "This isn't 50 years away, it's 10 or 20 years away."

If asteroid mining is right around the corner, the large fortunes these companies plan to cash in on isn't far off either. That means in just a few short years, we may not be looking at financiers or heirs to Wal-Mart on top of the Forbes billionaire list. We may be looking at asteroid miners.
http://mic.com/articles/115786/the-next-great-gold-rush-won-t-be-taking-place-on-earth


The above is "branded content" -- "spam" -- paid for by United Launch Alliance.

Nothing factually off in it and has some info links / I find it interesting that ULA is promoting asteroid mining awareness.

So -- what do you guys think -- I know we have too many billionaires as it is, but will the world's first "trillionaire" be an asteroid miner?
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Re: Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 12 May 2015, 06:42:36

You might get rich mining platinum from an asteroid, but just like everything else the more of anything on the market the cheaper that thing is. Adding that much platinum to the market would instantly crash the price, it would be cheaper than copper not greater than the GDP of country X Y or Z
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Re: Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby Sixstrings » Tue 12 May 2015, 07:04:26

Tanada wrote:You might get rich mining platinum from an asteroid, but just like everything else the more of anything on the market the cheaper that thing is. Adding that much platinum to the market would instantly crash the price, it would be cheaper than copper not greater than the GDP of country X Y or Z


True about supply in demand. The problem though is just getting ramped up with asteroid mining to start with, to even make it profitable, it's not like the whole rock could be processed and brought down all at once to crash the market.

It's more like.. a few of those rocks out there, is a Saudi Arabia just floating around. Could be mined for generations.

The solar system is utterly chock full of resources.

If anyone knows more details and exact plans that companies have in the works to actually go mine an asteroid (I'm guessing this is still just all R&D stage), then that would be interesting to see.

Also -- I think what the article is really talking about, is mining materials IN SPACE for use IN SPACE, a near-earth economy and supply chain eventually, maybe not bringing platinum back down to earth per se. Though that should still be profitable, as valuable as platinum is. And then all the rare earth minerals, that we're running out of and are going to need, those are all in space too.
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Re: Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby sparky » Tue 12 May 2015, 07:34:28

.
the largest gold mining companies are Goldcorp , Newmount , Barrick and Newcrest
all have been loosing their shirts for two years , at below 1300$ per ounce, this is a mug game .
after a bout of the vapors following the great ( unresolved ) financial crisis
the appetite for gold has gone down to the level of a coma patient ,
the usual demand for industrial gold and the vanity jewelry trade plus the odd private hoarder
is barely holding the market , recycled gold is not helping much either

I suggest you go on the market with a proposal to use one hundred millions spending to bring back ten thousands and watch the mirth all around ,
there even might be the statistically certain mug which will sink its pension fund on the concept

good luck , have fun !
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Re: Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby Sixstrings » Tue 12 May 2015, 09:25:56

but what about rare earths?

supply is limited on those, no, and we'll only need more and more of them with all the new battery tech / tech in general?

Anyhow.. there's a cost-profit breaking point, at some point, where a small space mining company could make a lot of money just on platinum.

It can't be too hard, it's not like rocket science or something. :lol:

(here's something to calculate.. how much platinum could a soyuz or other reentry vehicle carry, then times that by the current market price and see what that is -- compared to launch cost and getting out to the asteroid, and of course the VERY expensive mining probe / return vehicle.. or.. don't think "big" at all, make a SMALL system and if it's making profit then that's still profit. Maybe you don't have to fill a whole soyuz up with platinum, maybe something smaller and cheaper would be more profitable overall.)
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Re: Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby sparky » Tue 12 May 2015, 10:32:23

.
beside the small detail that no one has ever been to the asteroid belt and that , so far , functional humans hardly can last more than 9 months in space ?
the soviets had people in space for a year , the guys were wrecks coming back , muscle wastage and calcium bone losses made them into cripples in need of re-habilitation

fully automated drones might be an interesting concept to play with ,
but with transmission delay of the orders from Earth as long as minutes that make a control feedback loop pretty awkward loosing expensive gear so far out would be a budget sinker ,
only taxpayer funded enterprise could afford this kind of wastage
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Re: Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby Scrub Puller » Tue 12 May 2015, 23:29:01

Yair . . .

Good one GASMON , my sentiments exactly, some of these folks live in a different world . . . just waiting with bated breath to see KJ's take on this one. (big grin)

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Re: Asteroid mining "gold rush" coming?

Unread postby Sixstrings » Wed 13 May 2015, 08:34:20

GASMON wrote:What a load of bollocks.

America cant even send toilet paper to the space station at the moment. Russia's supply ship to same blew up last week.

Mining asteroids ?. More likely mining haemorrhoids !!!!!!!!!!

Gas


Oh man Gas you're wrong :P, while Brits do banker stuff with Russia and China, America and Elon Musk really are going to usher in a great age of space development.

And the US does in fact have a launch vehicle, that's Musk's Dragon capsule and falcon rockets which have already made many deliveries of toilet paper and snacks to the ISS.

ULA is almost done with their new launch vehicle as well, including the Orion deep space vehicle.

But yeah, btw -- we could do better -- the glory days of Apollo, the shuttle.

Galactic Gold Rush: Asteroid Mining to Start This Summer

And the company's Arkyd-3R - currently docked at the ISS - is ready for its first demonstration mission, an initial test that will lay the groundwork for future probes to start mining valuable resources on near earth asteroids (NEAs).

Planetary Resources made Galactic Gold Rush: Asteroid Mining to Start This Summers when high profile investors like Google's Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Bechtel Corporation decided to back their ventures. And they also broke innovative financing ground in 2013 when they used Kickstarter to crowdfund their Arkyd-100 telescope, scheduled to launch later this year.

Deep Space Industries (DSI) is another player on the asteroid mining scene, and plans to launch their first scouts in 2016. DSI's "business is based on supplying what commercial customers in Earth orbit need to operate, as well as serving NASA's needs for its Moon and Mars exploration," said CEO Daniel Faber in a press release last year after DSI won two contracts from NASA.

Of particular importance for ventures like DSI is the idea of harvesting materials needed for space exploration in space itself, so as to avoid the enormous costs of having to launch them out of Earth's atmosphere.

"Right now it costs $17 million per ton to get anything up to geosynchronous orbit," David Gump, vice chairman of Deep Space, told the Boston Globe in November. "If we can beat whatever that price is in 2022, we'll have a big market."

Water, in particular, could be a key resources for these asteroid miners, since its component parts - hydrogen and oxygen - are needed for rocket fuel.

"Asteroids hold the resources necessary to enable a sustainable, even indefinite presence in space - for science, commerce and continued prosperity here on Earth," Chris Lewicki, president and "chief asteroid miner" of Planetary Resources, said in a statement about a NASA contract of their own.
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Galactic_Gold_Rush_Asteroid_Mining_to_Start_This_Summer_999.html


I really think SpaceX will be the lynchpin to a lot of this.

Elon Musk is like an old railroad tycoon -- he is building the infrastructure to make the rest of it possible.

That's going to be a big deal there, reusable rockets, and already the cheapest launches the world's ever seen -- that's affordable launch cost for the "gold rush" asteroid miners to build on. :lol:

P.S. Unless it winds up getting canceled, last I heard about it there is supposed to be a NASA goal of landing astronauts on an asteroid.

Sometimes business moving forward and the public moving forward can converge, and that's what space development is, so that's good for everybody. That's Manifest Destiny and new frontiers stuff, growth for everybody with real brick and mortar industry, not just bankers and paper money / scams / some new smartphone app.
Last edited by Sixstrings on Wed 13 May 2015, 09:45:05, edited 1 time in total.
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