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dead_pan
24th Apr 2012, 18:18
There's been quite a bit of news coverage on this of late:

BBC News - Plans for asteroid mining emerge (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17827347)

Is this yet another scheme to relieve some overblown billionaires of their cash?

Interested to hear what the great technical minds on PPRuNe think of this venture. I wonder if it could be worth the risk given how valuable they say these asteroids are.

Perhaps we could devise our own scheme and attempt to divert an asteroid towards Earth, hoping of course it doesn't trigger another ice age and kill millions..

OFSO
24th Apr 2012, 18:23
Yeah great isn't it. We could go out there, bring an asteroid back, and mine it - all Planet Earth's problems solved.

If, that is, we had some "spaceships".

Which we don't.

What HAVE these guys been smoking ?!?!?!

tony draper
24th Apr 2012, 19:23
Pie in the sky,we barely have the ability to get humans into low earth orbit never mind mining asteroids,just another feckwit announcement that will come to naught.
:uhoh:

Lonewolf_50
24th Apr 2012, 19:30
The mining most likely would be done by probes and machines, remotely controlled. Humans most likely not on the surface.


Hmm, no real life replay of "Outland." Not sure if that's good or bad.

rgbrock1
24th Apr 2012, 19:38
But what happens to the miner if one of these little creatures is hiding behind the asteroid????

http://jasonearl.com/portfolio/asteroids_game/data/print_image__asteroids_game.png

tony draper
24th Apr 2012, 19:44
Dont see any possible economic justification for it,we are still sitting on billions of tons of metal ores and minerals here without leaving this mudball,unless they find one made from solid gold,anyway I doubt if there is much in the way of metals in the asteroids,if there was they wouldn't be way out there beyond Mars they would have formed a planet closer in.
:)

ZOOKER
24th Apr 2012, 20:22
Tony,
We can get a rubber chicken up to 120,000ft, - we're nearly there! :ok:

G-CPTN
24th Apr 2012, 20:32
Dan Dare should have had this sorted by now!

Airborne Aircrew
24th Apr 2012, 20:49
Come now... If Bruce Willis can do it I'm sure he'll give us some tips...

ArthurR
24th Apr 2012, 21:13
Excellent, jobs for the long term unemployed, my father, a POW WW2, was forced into the mines in Poland, send them there, and don't relieve them till their quotas filled.

tony draper
24th Apr 2012, 21:15
Oft thought when the world was forming and was a red hot molten ball all the heavy metal would have sunk toward the center ergo there must be a large sphere of pure molten gold right in the center of the earth surrounded by another nickle nickle iron sphere,and its a lot closer than any asteroid.
:E

ZH875
24th Apr 2012, 21:26
Argentina has staked claim to any asteroid that comes within 3 light years of their borders.

11Fan
24th Apr 2012, 22:57
Excellent science fiction movie on the subject.

Moon (2009) - IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1182345/)

twuScTcDP_Q

Loose rivets
24th Apr 2012, 23:07
Come now... If Bruce Willis can do it I'm sure he'll give us some tips...

Huh! Beat me to it.

I reckon we should mine gold from the moon, but just make coins there.

We could find one astronaut bartering with another for a new moon buggy or some such, but being frustrated by not being able to get the coins out of their pockets, cos of having fat fingers.


What they do want to know is what RNA / DNA type stuff might be in them. It seems the framework for such a structure is now much more likely to occur naturally in the heavens than previously thought. Might be able to get some, feed it into mice cells, and get creatures that can design fjords.



Apologies to Douglass Adams.

Solar
25th Apr 2012, 00:37
Be interesting to see how a mine would operate in a near zero gravity situation, would they just dig straight down and throw everything out the top?

atpcliff
25th Apr 2012, 00:45
There are TONNES (hahahaha!) of materials that are very important to our modern life on earth, that are in VERY short supply here on our little planet....off the top of my head I have read of materials needed in jet engines, batteries, electronics, medical devices, cell phones, etc. that are quite difficult to come by.

Afghanistan may have some of this material, which may be good for them.

Asteroids are chock full of the stuff...I think most of it we find on earth came from asteroid strikes in the past.

Mining rare earths from asteroids would be enormously expensive, at first. But the effort could help to start a transition toward developing space industries. In time, we could see many industrial operations running in space, using virtually free solar energy, while our world becomes cleaner and greener: a residential zone, with industry moving off our planet.

Some near-Earth asteroids contain platinum group metals in much higher concentrations than the richest Earth mines. In space, a single platinum-rich 500 meter wide asteroid contains about 174 times the yearly world output of platinum, and 1.5 times the known world-reserves of platinum group metals (ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum). This amount is enough to fill a basketball court to four times the height of the rim. By contrast, all of the platinum group metals mined to date in history would not reach waist-high on that same basketball court.
...
Asteroids also contain more common metallic elements such as iron, nickel, and cobalt, sometimes in incredible quantities. In addition to water, other volatiles, such as nitrogen, CO, CO2, and methane, exist in quantities sufficient to warrant extraction and utilization.

cliff
RMS

Slasher
25th Apr 2012, 06:15
I was just thinking (which I know I shouldn't do too much) -
why not bring the asteroid to Earth orbit? It would cut down
on transport costs for both the ore and mining prisoners.

Send a robot ship to evaluate the metal potential. If it works
out feasable dispatch an "engine" ship. This ship - being an
engine unto itself, burrows into the asteroid with its exhaust
sticking out. The engine is controlled from Earth. A few twists
of the gamestick and throttle and so jockey it from its present
position into Earth orbit.

As prev suggested the asteroid could become a penal mining
prison/gulag, and terraforming it into a cold habitat with lots
of snow and ice would also be a nice touch!

Oc_jYAtfDis

Juliet Sierra Papa
25th Apr 2012, 08:12
How would they mine them? Wouldn't all the mined pieces fall off the edge and what would happen if the drill got stuck, would the Asteroid start spinning? :sad:

Buster Hyman
25th Apr 2012, 08:19
:rolleyes: Have better luck mining Hemorrhoids than Asteroids! :rolleyes:

Alloa Akbar
25th Apr 2012, 08:26
I can do it.. I was right good at Atari's "Asteroids" when I was a kid. I knew bunking off to go down the arcade would come in handy one day.. :ok:

Rengineer
25th Apr 2012, 08:36
Based in Seattle, Washington? Why oh why can't they do that someplace nice?:ugh:

Seriously, the technology to do this is there, and the really tricky bits have been used on things like Mars and asteroid probes, and some satellites. But bringing it all together to work will be a tough job if ever there was one. And justifying the business case should be even tougher by my estimate.

Nonetheless, I can't help being impressed by the team that's allegedly behind this upstart.:ooh:

tony draper
25th Apr 2012, 09:08
The technology to do this is there?you must have been watching a different space program than I have for the last fifty years Mr R, getting there and taking a few photographs and poking little sensors into the soil is a quantum leap from mining.
Like a lot of these silly announcements these days its just bean breeze probably will remain bean breeze for the next 200 years if not longer.
:uhoh:

Lon More
25th Apr 2012, 09:54
Lone Wolf 50 wroteThe mining most likely would be done by probes What's poor old probes done to deserve banishment?

Windy Militant
25th Apr 2012, 10:09
What Happened to the Helium 3 mines we were going to have on the moon? :confused:
Have to be careful out there in the belt don't want to set off the von Neumann probes gently snooozing out there. :uhoh:

PukinDog
25th Apr 2012, 11:32
I think any valuable asteroids out there are most likely already spoken-for, owned by a race of super-beings, and it's gonna get ugly for Earth when these guys try and pick their pockets. This situation is less Armageddon and more Independence Day, so now might be a good time for everyone to start gearing-up.

Slasher
25th Apr 2012, 11:35
The mining most likely would be done by probes

If that's the case then here's a little somethin' for Probes to
pass the time while she's slaving in the asteroid mines.......


nwXwzDqN6mc

Rengineer
25th Apr 2012, 12:53
Mr Draper:
Take and analyse soil samples - check. Surveyor, 1960s.
Do same on outer-space body - check. Viking, 1975.
Hall effect thrusters - check. Fakel, 1960s.
Process water into hydrogen and oxygen - check. 19th century.
Fully autonomic rendezvous and docking - check. ATV, 2008.
Do same on outer-space body (semi-autonomously) - check. Hayabusa, 2003.
Medium-scale remotely operated mining - almost check. Nautilus minerals ROV, in production.
That list goes on.

What's needed is to bind all these (and, agreed, many more) together and, in some cases, increase the size. That's what the billions are needed for - it's essentially a task comparable to developing, say, the Boeing 707 from the rather smaller jets that existed before it (Or the Saturn V), and at the same time build a lot of supporting technology and infrastructure around that. Easy? No way.. Possible? Yes. Within the planned budget and timeframe? Probably not, but then, what percentage of aerospace projects was? And mind, these guys are not NASA, so (hopefully) very little political interfering will be involved.

Mind, we're not talking about sending something the size of an asteroid up from Earth - that would be more difficult for many reasons - and not even necessarily down to Earth, but from a near-Earth heliocentric orbit to lunar orbit, for a start. Not much of a business case in the next decade, but that's not my point really. This whole project is more than just very ambitious, but I notice an uncanny absence of any need for unobtanium. My list up there probably misses a dozen or so of the most difficult points, but then I'm not on the project team.;)

Rengineer
25th Apr 2012, 13:04
Jazz hands, what's the market rate for green cheese?

Nope, I think there's nothing much on the Moon, we've checked so often. The idea has often been proposed but apart from the Helium-3 (which won't be really valuable until someone builds a second-generation fusion reactor for it) it's essentially stuff that we have enough of on Earth.

radeng
25th Apr 2012, 13:07
It is one of those things that needs a start now and an expected end point some 200 tears down the road. Which needs far too much long term thinking for our politicians and money suckers - sorry, bankers and the like.

4mastacker
25th Apr 2012, 13:08
Could always send a certain Mr A Scargill to ensure that the pay and conditions for the miners were not abused.

Slasher
25th Apr 2012, 13:15
Yeh but then he'd try and set up the Democratic Peoples
Republic of the Asteroid and call himself Kim Jong Arfur.

handsfree
25th Apr 2012, 13:17
I can tell you now and for nothing that mining on other people's property is not a good idea. Some of you have got really short memories - look what happened when we dug a hole on the moon in 2001.

Space Odyssey 2001 - Encounter with monolith (movie scene) - YouTube

OFSO
25th Apr 2012, 13:20
All this talk about "digging down" !

You just build an enormous heating coil, a bit bigger than the asteroid: put a considerable number of amps through the coil; you set the asteroid drifing s l o w l y through the coil: induction heating brings the asteroid up to the point of being liquid; the various components drift out under the influence of earth's gravity and - if you've got it right - cool and solidify in nice ingots 99% pure which the earth's magnetic field attracts.

And they all fall on Brussels.

Worth doing if only for laughs.

4mastacker
25th Apr 2012, 13:35
Would need a big rocket to accommodate his massive ego and all that hairspray.

corsair
25th Apr 2012, 14:52
Where's the rolleyes smilie! Here we go again, people persisting with the fantasy space travel is a potential goldmine or in this case platinum. These fantasists have been watching too much science fiction.

The sheer cost of making spacecraft, finding the stuff, mining it and then transporting it back to Earth will make the whole thing financially impossible.

Eric Anderson, who co-founded the space tourism firm Space Adventures, said he was used to sceptics.

"Before we started launching people into space as private citizens, people thought that was a pie-in-the-sky idea," He said.

"We're in this for decades. But it's not a charity. And we'll make money from the beginning."He talks as if his company actually had the means to put people in space. All he's done is piggyback some super rich people into a cash strapped Russian space program. All the rest is purely aspirational. Apart from the occasional rich guy in the sky.

But I'm not against it. As long as taxpayers money isn't used to fund this fantasy and only the money of bored rich people and film directors. I'm all for it.

OFSO
25th Apr 2012, 16:08
To be realistic, this is the biggest heavy-mover the planet's got (ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle, this one's number three) and how much mining equipment could you get in that ? (Plus all those guys carefully pushing it, don't see Bruce Willis among them....)

http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu287/ROBIN_100/EduardoAmalfi.jpg

Rengineer
25th Apr 2012, 16:23
OFSO,

whoever said you'd just rent your Mark I Astrominer from ILFC? This is obviously not an airline-type operation those guys are looking at; some assembly required! :p

dead_pan
25th Apr 2012, 18:07
He talks as if his company actually had the means to put people in space. All he's done is piggyback some super rich people into a cash strapped Russian space program. All the rest is purely aspirational. Apart from the occasional rich guy in the sky.Yup, Rutan's the real deal. Perhaps they should give him a contract and see what he comes up with.

But I'm not against it. As long as taxpayers money isn't used to fund this fantasy and only the money of bored rich people and film directors. I'm all for it.Well said. Who knows, they might actually develop some useful technology for here on Earth.

Rather than troll off into the deep black looking for errant asteroids, why not start by sending a rover or ten to the Moon to check out the numerous impact craters to see if there's anything of value nesting in them. Mining a rock on surface of the Moon would be much simpler than trying to grapple with one spinning in space. Perhaps that's what the Chinese are secretly planning?

MG23
25th Apr 2012, 21:48
Mining a rock on surface of the Moon would be much simpler than trying to grapple with one spinning in space.

Sure, but then you have a rock on the surface of the Moon.

The most likely short-term market for asteroid material is rocket fuel in Earth orbit (current price around $20,000,000 a ton), which basically requires finding water and bringing it to orbit where it can be split into hydrogen and oxygen. The Moon doesn't contain much water and if you find a big lump of ice you then have to launch it from the surface of the Moon, which means you probably have to start by turning three quarters of it into rocket fuel to launch the remainder.

If you find a small ice-rich asteroid (say a few hundred to thousand tons) there are plenty of more efficient but low-thrust engine designs which can bring it to Earth over the course of several years without having to use up the very materials you're trying to collect.

As for this particular project, from the little I've read it would appear that their initial plans are to piggy-back small spacecraft onto rockets launching other satellites, which would be used to spot asteroids of the type they're interested in and make an initial survey. That's a relatively low cost investment -- to the extent that anything involving spaceflight can ever be 'low cost' -- before you have to raise enough money to bring it back.

tony draper
25th Apr 2012, 21:55
Rather than digging holes in asteroids it would be more prudent if we could figure out a way of shifting them slightly off course so they do not land on our heads at 30 miles per second.
:uhoh:

ZOOKER
25th Apr 2012, 22:02
An Earth-crossing asteroid sounds like an ideal location for The Trumpmeister to build his next golf course. :E

KAG
26th Apr 2012, 05:42
Dead pan: you are spot on.

Spending Billions $$$ for a few pounds of metal/water/other shows some people have problems with math and economy, or shows their childhood dreams make them blind.

hellsbrink
26th Apr 2012, 13:12
If you find a small ice-rich asteroid (say a few hundred to thousand tons) there are plenty of more efficient but low-thrust engine designs which can bring it to Earth over the course of several years without having to use up the very materials you're trying to collect.

Sorry if this sounds a bit "off", but surely that wouldn't work? The asteroid may be "ice rich" where it is, but since you'll be bringing it closer to the sun the wouldn't the water start to "boil off"?

Just look at the tails of comets and you'll get where I'm coming from.

tony draper
26th Apr 2012, 13:17
If it is water you want why not nab a Comet then? much easier to mine all you would need if a blowtorch and a bucket.
:rolleyes:

OFSO
26th Apr 2012, 18:50
Why not nab a comet, then ?

'Cos they all got turned into Nimrods and when finished, cut into pieces.

Arm out the window
26th Apr 2012, 21:31
This splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, how exactly would that be done in a workable fashion, does anyone know?

Lots of solar power around in space so that would presumably provide the go juice to get it happening, what happens next?

What kind of equipment, eg could an astronaut have a portable piece of kit he carries round, shoves some water ice in a hopper, turns it on and gets hydrogen and oxygen squirting into tanks?

SMT Member
26th Apr 2012, 21:46
A delightful scientist lady took to the TV screen yesterday, trying to explain to us blokes what all this interplanetary mining lark was all about, and she made it sound like it made pretty good sense.

First of all, why mine asteroids? Well, they mave well have the same metals as on earth, but they are far easier to get. When earth was in its infancy, it was a molten blob. All the heavy bits eventually sank down, lighter bits floated to the top. Hence the reason one usually has to dig very deep indeed to find certain precious metals. Alas, not so on asteroids. They have often been subject to collision, exposing their cores, and with no gravity to pull things together it lies near or at the surface, much easier to get to.

Secondly, is it possible? Easily answered: Yes, the Japanese already did it. Granted, they did not bring home a gazillion tons of unobtanium, but they did launch a rocket, land a probe on an asteroid, take off again and return a sample to mother Earth.

Thirdly, is there anything worth mining? Well, that is the big question. Getting the robots out and doing their thing is not exactly going to be cheap, but the riches are supposedly there for the pickings. The blokes behind the idea are not, however, short of a buck and who knows what they´re willing to risk.

tony draper
26th Apr 2012, 22:01
Might be very little in the way of the heavier metals in the asteroids,when the Sun cooked off (ignited) blowing the elements and dust of the accretion disk that formed the planets,the heavy stuff didn't stray very far, the lighter stuff got chucked further hence the rule seems to be rocky planets close into the sun gas planets on the outskirts.
:)

KAG
27th Apr 2012, 05:51
Tony: If it is water you want
You are right, "they" have the project to look for some water in space too...
When I say "they" it's a fantastic team of Titanic movie producer, the google CEO and the like, you know, the kind who have seen too many movies with Bruce Willis. Hi there! Come back to earth...



In Africa soil there is a huge amount of water, as much as an entire sea, it would cost nothing (compared getting billions liters of water in space) to get, still we don't.

Let's not forget the ocean and sea on the earth, removing the salt would be so less expensive. Remember: water on earth this is not oil, even if you drink it all it stays on earth and it doesn't dissappear like oil, so the quantity is unlimited, going to space to get water when we have more than what we need (we just have to clean it or remove salt) on earth is not going to happen.

Those project are not going to work, mark my words.

Look at what our British friends have found: Massive underground reserves of water found in Africa | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2133339/Massive-underground-reserves-water-Africa.html) :ok:



http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/04/22/article-2133339-12B4E711000005DC-739_634x657.jpg

Rengineer
27th Apr 2012, 08:03
KAG, what on Earth would you want to bring water down to Earth for? :confused:

The trick is of course to bring it up in to space, to be used by some yet-to-be-defined future space expeditions. Never mind if it comes from Africa, Atlantica, or Asteroids. The surprising bit is, it actually takes a lot less energy to fetch it from outside (if done smartly) than to send it up. It's the wonderful world of gravity.

Concerning what your British friends found, it's a supremely exciting discovery and very well worth its own thread. Though one has to say, one of the late Colonel Gaddafi's pet projects was the exploitation of the Nubian Aquifer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Manmade_River), which I understand is essentially the northern bit of what has been discovered now. The Colonel, of course, had means, maybe more than Messrs Schmidt and Cameron, and a good bit of those was buried in the sand to get the water out.

KAG
27th Apr 2012, 08:27
Rengineer: KAG, what on Earth would you want to bring water down to Earth for?

That's precisely my point: aint going to happen.

tony draper
27th Apr 2012, 08:49
If you want ice in orbit would be a lot simpler to launch blocks of it with summat like a rail gun,you might lose some of its mass due to its transit through the atmosphere but due to its thermal properties most of it would end up floating around out there.
I'm just full of good ideas today.:rolleyes:

dead_pan
27th Apr 2012, 09:09
It was such a good idea you had to post it twice :ok:

I think the point of trying to find water in space is to use it as a fuel source, rather than having to haul it up with you. Until we come up with a better idea we're still dependent on chemical propellants for all the heavy lifting in space. Those much talked about ion drives only deliver a paltry amount of thrust in comparison (someone once told me your average ion drive delivers the equivalent thrust of the weight of a single sheet of A4 paper).

Windy Militant
27th Apr 2012, 10:08
Brings to mind the Race to India and Cathay to bring home rare spices.

If the Science fiction is to become reality then one presumes that the Exotic unobtanium type stuff is what they're after.
Mine asteroids for materials that are rare here at the bottom of the gravity well.
Manufacturing facilities in space to produce stuff that can't be made down here.
Small high value items that can be dropped to Earth in cannisters similar to those used in the 1960's to carry photographic film.
Doesn't have to be manned, doesn't have to be big, just needs the right product.
New IT processors, pharmacuticals who knows.
Until the Bessemer converter Steel was to costly to use for Ships or Construction.
Aluminium used to be worth more than Silver at one time until they figured out how to use electricity to smelt it.
And as Farady said to Gladstone "Why sir, there is every probability you will be able to tax it."

vulcanised
27th Apr 2012, 11:58
Apparently, a consortium of Irish coal miners is looking into it.

corsair
27th Apr 2012, 13:44
Apparently, a consortium of Irish coal miners is looking into it. I'm sorry vulcanised, being Irish you'll have to explain that to me? Irish coalminers???

Anyway back to the point, First of all, why mine asteroids? Well, they mave well have the same metals as on earth, but they are far easier to get. You mean it's easier to fly out into space with mining equipment than dig a big hole on Earth?

It's all quite possible, there's not technical reason this can't be done. There's also probably no technical reason we haven't got a moonbase housing hundreds of people and a permanent space station orbitting Mars.

But there's plenty of financial reasons. There isn't enough money in the world to pay for all that technology.

It's the space age generation still trying live out their science fiction dreams.

OFSO
27th Apr 2012, 13:53
Pssssst: There is a moonbase, but to communicate you have to speak in Zhōngwén.....

vulcanised
27th Apr 2012, 14:27
being Irish you'll have to explain that to me?


Just another pathetic joke at the expense of a fine upstanding nation. Don't worry about it.

MG23
27th Apr 2012, 18:29
If you want ice in orbit would be a lot simpler to launch blocks of it with summat like a rail gun,you might lose some of its mass due to its transit through the atmosphere but due to its thermal properties most of it would end up floating around out there.

People have suggested that. The big problem is that you can't launch something directly into orbit from a gun unless that gun is a few hundred kilometers above the ground; otherwise the payload needs a rocket to raise the lowest point of its trajectory outside the atmosphere or it just comes crashing down on the other side of the planet. Also, it will still need to rendezvous with whoever wants it once it is in orbit. So your simple 'ice from a gun' rapidly becomes a complete spacecraft which then has to survive a 100g launch and transit through the lower atmosphere at 16,000 mph.

MG23
27th Apr 2012, 18:40
Sorry if this sounds a bit "off", but surely that wouldn't work? The asteroid may be "ice rich" where it is, but since you'll be bringing it closer to the sun the wouldn't the water start to "boil off"?

Yes, but the ice may be covered by rock which would protect it, and artificial sun shades can be made cheaply with quite low mass. NASA have studied how to take hundreds of tons of liquid hydrogen to Mars as fuel for a return trip, which is much harder than bringing water to Earth; sun shades were the primary mechanism in the studies I've seen.

OFSO
27th Apr 2012, 18:44
Need not point out that (a) launch vehicles do not go straight up, but after lift-off rapidly turn into direction of the planet's rotation, and (b) launch sites near the equator are preferred as the planet's rotation speed is then added to the vehicle speed, put it another way you can carry more payload for same fuel load.

How about putting some kind of remote control thrusters on the asteroid, then boosting it into the plane of the earth's orbit, will be higher & faster - slow it down - slowly slowly - through the Lagrange Point - even slower - until it's a few miles ahead of us in the same orbit ? Far easier to reach for mining purposes and would also contribute to some really excellent sunrises.....

probes
28th Apr 2012, 03:52
No need to discuss about it, it aint going to happen
the world would be a lot less interesting if only the things that are going to happen were discussed? :rolleyes:

KAG
28th Apr 2012, 03:56
No need to discuss about it, it aint going to happen because it is useless and the scenario comes directly from movies, not reality.

Let's start with digging water in Africa, water is there already, and the world/african people need it more than they need a childish space irrealistic and useless dream.

Space is a place you spend money, not where you win money (exception to that with the french Arianespace, but that's because of satellites launched).
Want to burn your cash because you have too much of it? Go to space, but don't say that's for the good of humanity, this is only a childish desire.
Money and life are on earth. Want water, or anything else usefull for human beings? It's happening on earth.
Going to space can only be done by spoilling a bit more earth, because no little arrogant jump in the suburb of earth (that we call "space, so arrogant!) can be done without full economic and life supply from earth itself.
One generation of human beings in space will be killed by cancer, not to mention everything else we don't know, not to mention no life in space is impossible without the full supply and support from earth.
Without earth we are simply nothing, better to put that in our little brain too much shooted with sci-fi fix.

Our biggest mistake was to think exploring space for human beings was like exploring america for europeans a few hundreds years ago.
It is plain wrong, human being exploring space will always look like ridiculous little jump around earth with full supply from it, and the end can only be death or running back into the big mama arms: the earth.

Going to space for humans has as much sense as saying we decide today to live without our skin tomorrow for the sake/fun of it. Useless, and isn't going to happen.

If you still haven't understood what is earth for human being, I think you have understood nothing and you are fooling yourself.
Alright, I am going to tell you because I am nice ;) : there is no human being without earth, we are ONE. Like there is no heart without brain for our bodies.

There is only one future for us, it is called earth. When the earth will die, it will look exactly like the space we want to explore, and it will be our end if humanity still exist at that time. Time to wake up.

Any chance to get real?

KAG
28th Apr 2012, 04:01
Probes: of course we can discuss about it.

I didn't know I had to explain my meaning, here it is:
It is pointless to discuss about getting valuable needs for us in space as it will cost more than will benefit, and everything is much more easily available on earth.

When we discuss like that it makes me feel like observing a blind leaving his fully equipped appartment with the project to find some water and food in the Sahara desert after a 10000 milles travel by walk.
He is not only blind, he is disconnected from reality also.

We can discuss about it, but let's not pretend it is either helpful, either realistic, either useful.
It is pointless, but we have been so much brain washed by sci fi movies that we will soon beleive the wonderful world of Alice actually do exist.

probes
28th Apr 2012, 04:31
I didn't know I had to explain my meaning
dear KAG,
I got your meaning alright. I was just wondering why bother about people discussing things they enjoy (also interesting to read for me, for example - intellectually interesting, to stress I'm not after practical aspects)? You could have a practical thread about water in Africa? (interesting, too, of course).

KAG
28th Apr 2012, 04:46
It is fine, really.
Discuss all what you want, this your right, the same right for me to tell you it isun-realistic.
Because please remember that some people actually are planing in burning money in this project, this is for real.
And I cannot comment it?
Well what's the use of an internet forum then, look at the first post, it says exactly what I am saying.

MG23
28th Apr 2012, 06:06
Space is a place you spend money, not where you win money (exception to that with the french Arianespace, but that's because of satellites launched).

I work with people who make millions and billions of dollars a year in space. And when there's a disaster in Africa, the people going to help will likely be reliant on those people to help organise a rapid response.

About the only thing that doesn't make money in space is human spaceflight... and that's changing as tourism takes over from government programs.

KAG
28th Apr 2012, 06:28
I work with people who make millions and billions of dollars a year in space.



Today the only space company who had ever made money with space is the french Arianespace, but even if Arianespace is making money because of space (I am not speaking about public space programs that needs billions from the tax payers like NASA for example), that's not much at all I can tell you. And Arianespace made money (very little) launching satellites, which mean they haven't made earth richer with space by any mean, that's only money going from one guy to an other one on earth, not money because of gold/water/other values in space sold/given on earth to make it richer.


I am speaking about real money coming from space directly (the very subject of this thread), not from the tax payers obviously.

Each time money is involved, it comes from earth, not from space, so earth doesn't get any richer because of space.

Who is making billions of dollars a year in space?
May I kindly ask you a name?

Cacophonix
28th Apr 2012, 08:40
Asteroid mining

Fascinating idea of course and ranks right up there with terraforming Mars or getting my girlfriend to do what I say. In other words highly unlikely...

I tend to think that we might want to spend a little more time and effort fixing things here on earth before we blunder off to the next best worst thing.

Still, good luck to these guys. I reserve my right to be wrong and to purchase stock in the Acme Galactic Mining empire.

Caco

tony draper
28th Apr 2012, 09:10
Well someone will probably make money out of it and not a single nugget ever dug,one suspects that is why these wild feckwit schemes are come up with in the first place.
Thinking of floating one meself,building a manganese ore smelter at the bottom of the Marianas Trench or summat similar holds promise.
Loads of manganese nodules lying about the sea floor apparently.
:rolleyes:

Cacophonix
28th Apr 2012, 09:42
Thinking of floating one meself,building a manganese ore smelter at the bottom of the Marianas Trench or summat similar holds promise.
Loads of manganese nodules lying about the sea floor apparently.

Would have thought this one would have been more up James Cameron's boulevard (couldn't be an alley as he always thinks big) or at least down his maritime trench.

Caco

tony draper
28th Apr 2012, 10:01
Mining artifacts from the Titanic seems very lucrative though don't think Mr Cameron approved of it.
:uhoh:

Cpt_Pugwash
28th Apr 2012, 13:33
FSL,
Mining manganeses nodules was the cover story for the Glomar Explorer, wasn't it?

tony draper
28th Apr 2012, 14:44
I could tell you Cpt P but then I would have to have you killed.:rolleyes:

pudoc
28th Apr 2012, 23:12
This is a great idea. Why? Because look in history, the only huge technological advances come with space trave/exploration and war.

The only reason humans have explored space is curiosity and we achieved huge things based on curiosity. If you bring companies, money and profit into the equation (which is a lot more motivating than curiosity) then imagine the things we will achieve in the future.

Asteroid mining will quite clearly create a huge new infrastructure for space travel. Space missions need 4 things:

-Food
-Oxygen
-Water
-Propellant

3 out of 4 of those can be derived from water. And the main thing we will be looking for whilst mining, is water. The key to life. And with water, we can even grow food in space. So imagine they found water and created a huge infrastructure. All 4 of those things will be available in space creating a stepping stone to exploring further then we can already. Water can also be used as a shield against cosmic radiation. So the metals we will mine will give companies profit but I guarantee you every company will be on the hunt for water.

What forms water? Oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen can be used to form fuel. Companies can have fuel stations in space. Shuttles can dock, refuel and then explore further.

It's very ambitious, but all possible if we find water up there. Which is the main reason we are doing this. If water is found, imagine where we will be in a few hundred years with fuel stations and huge bases orbiting planets where astronauts can eat and restock their shuttles before going onwards to the furthest planets in our solar systems.

None of us will be alive for it, but it's going to happen.

We could spend all these billions on cancer research, but humans as a society need a form of adventure.

G-CPTN
28th Apr 2012, 23:32
How come that folk haven't adopted the method of producing hydrogen for use as fuel from water (which is plentiful here on Earth)?

Extracting petrol (and diesel) from crude oil requires vast resources, quite apart from the cost of harvesting the raw material yet that is the preferred source for fuel.

Of course there is an energy imbalance required to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen, but the process is simple compared to that required for refining crude oil into its constituent forms capable of being used in vehicles.

Schools don't demonstrate reducing crude oil in laboratory, yet almost every pupil will have produced hydrogen from water simple tap water. It must be cheaper to produce hydrogen than petrol or diesel, yet it hasn't caught on yet.

Is that because the energy imbalance is too obvious?

probes
29th Apr 2012, 06:35
;) they folk have thought of plenty -
Hydrogen Fuel - Energy from reacting hydrogen (H2) with oxygen (http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/technology/hydrogen-fuel/)