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How feasible is space mining ?


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#1    Saru

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:02 PM

Can  Eric Anderson and Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources actually succeed in mining asteroids ?

New Scientist said:

What do those in the know make of the bold plans dreamed up by wannabe asteroid miners Eric Anderson and Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources?

Posted Image Read more...



#2    shaddow134

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:15 PM

Good idea but i don't think it will happen in my life time,potential though for big problems towing asteroids into close Earth orbit,especially if some one get's their maths wrong.

Wouldn't it cause big problems though?If for instance, Earth markets were flooded with precious metals.

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#3    and then

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:39 PM

I hope they are able to pursue the technology.  Even if it turns to be a failure from a profitability standpoint it might still provide much needed knowledge of how to maneuver or even change the trajectory of a potentially earth threatening body in space.

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#4    pallidin

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:06 PM

I read the article, and I don't think it addressed the issue of "which" asteroids to mine.
Like, how do you know that a particular asteroid is 50% platinum, for example, or some other highly valuable substance?

And I agree with "and then" that the technology might prove useful in dealing with possible asteriod hits.


#5    Occams Razor

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:08 PM

Sci-fi, Nostromo style. Mineral ore mining, off planet!!! They're on drugs.

What would they mine? Whatever it is would have to be incredibly small, light, and unimaginably valuable to make it commercially viable. It's got to be an investment con.

Edited by Occams Razor, 25 August 2012 - 03:10 PM.


#6    Occams Razor

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:11 PM

View PostSaru, on 25 August 2012 - 02:02 PM, said:

Can  Eric Anderson and Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources actually succeed in mining asteroids ?

No, not a chance, pure fantasy.


#7    ealdwita

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:37 PM

First problem - How to stop the pit-ponies floating away!

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#8    Idano

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:37 PM

Yeah, bring an asteroid into close Earth orbit...what could go wrong??


#9    goodgodno

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:22 PM

Anything is mineable as long as it has economic value.  A lot of mines opening up at the moment which have low grade ore wouldn't have been considered a couple of years ago, but as the prices have risen they have become a profitable option.  I can't see asteroids economic and today's prices, but in 20/30/40 years, it could be a real option.  As long as the price is right.


#10    Sundew

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:03 PM

View Postshaddow134, on 25 August 2012 - 02:15 PM, said:

Good idea but i don't think it will happen in my life time,potential though for big problems towing asteroids into close Earth orbit,especially if some one get's their maths wrong.

Wouldn't it cause big problems though?If for instance, Earth markets were flooded with precious metals.

Probably the most likely metal they would find is iron, a common component of metallic meteors. Should they find enough gold/silver/platinum to make those common metals, they do have many valuable uses outside of coins and jewelry and there is the cost factor of retrieval, so precious metals may still be quite precious even if found in abundance.





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