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OSIRIS-REx Blazes Trail for Asteroid Miners


Claire.
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OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Blazes Trail for Asteroid Miners

On September 8, a NASA spacecraft is set to launch on a seven-year mission to retrieve rocks and dust from a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu. Those samples could help scientists to better understand the origins of the Solar System’s planets—and, perhaps, of life itself. Called OSIRIS-REx, the mission comes as a handful of companies pursue controversial plans to mine asteroids, in search of rare minerals or even fuel for extended space missions. If the NASA effort succeeds, it will serve as a proof of concept for more ambitious attempts to exploit asteroids for scientific or commercial gain.

“We’re cheering for them for a successful launch and mission,” says Chris Lewicki, president and chief executive of Planetary Resources in Redmond, Washington, a company that is developing technology to mine asteroids. Extracting resources from space rocks, he says, will “unleash the economic potential of exploring the Solar System”.

Read more: Scientific American

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Osiris-Rex launch went perfectly, all burns went well and spacecraft deployment was as expected.  Solar arrays then deployed perfectly and the spacecraft is reporting as healthy to control so a big win for NASA and ULA today.

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Great link Clair.

I find it hard to see how mining an asteroid can make economical sense. Still if it can be done, I'm sure someone will.  If we find any metal of value like gold or platinum, the market for these could tank with an increased supply. Of course then we'd have a new variety, Space Gold, which might even be more collectible and thus more expensive than common Earth gold or platinum.

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Posted (IP: Staff) · (edited)
On 12/09/2016 at 5:07 PM, paperdyer said:

I find it hard to see how mining an asteroid can make economical sense

Space mining makes a lot of economic sense as we move towards a more space, based economy. One of the single largest costs in producing large satellites is the cost of launching it into space. If you can build large space structures from raw materials already in space you can dramatically reduce those costs.

 

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

OSIRIS-REx Mission Status Report – Sept. 15

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One week post-launch, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft remains healthy and is on track for its two-year journey to the asteroid Bennu.  As of noon EDT Thursday, the spacecraft was approximately 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) from Earth, traveling at approximately 12,300 miles per hour (19,800 kilometers per hour) relative to Earth.  All of the spacecraft’s subsystems are operating as expected.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is designed to rendezvous with, study, and return a sample of Bennu to Earth. This sample of a primitive asteroid will help scientists understand the formation of our solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

NASA’s Asteroid-Bound Spacecraft Aces Instrument Check

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Its science instruments have been powered on, and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues on its journey to an asteroid. The spacecraft has passed its initial instrument check with flying colors as it speeds toward a 2018 rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu.

Last week NASA’s spacecraft designed to collect a sample of an asteroid ran the first check of its onboard instruments. Starting on Sept. 19, engineers controlling the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft powered on and operated the mission’s five science instruments and one of its navigational instruments. The data received from the checkout indicate that the spacecraft and its instruments are all healthy.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

NASA Tests Thrusters on Journey to Asteroid Bennu

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft fired its Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM) thrusters for the first time Friday in order to slightly adjust its trajectory on the outbound journey from Earth to the asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft’s planned first Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-1) began at 1 p.m. EDT and lasted for approximately 12 seconds. The maneuver changed the velocity of the spacecraft by 1.1 mile per hour (50 centimeters per second) and used approximately 18 ounces (.5 kilogram) of fuel.  The spacecraft is currently about 9 million miles (14.5 million kilometers) from Earth.

TCM-1 was originally included in the spacecraft’s flight plan to fine-tune its trajectory if needed after the mission’s Sept. 8 launch. The ULA Atlas V’s launch performance was so accurate, however, that the spacecraft’s orbit had no practical need for correction. Instead, the OSIRIS-REx mission team used the Oct. 7 maneuver to test the TCM thrusters and as practice to prepare for a much larger propulsive maneuver scheduled in December.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Successful Deep Space Maneuver for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft

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New tracking data confirms that NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft aced its first Deep Space Maneuver (DSM-1) on Dec. 28, 2016. The engine burn sets up the spacecraft for an Earth gravity assist this fall as it continues its two-year journey to the asteroid Bennu.

The large maneuver was the first using OSIRIS-REx’s main engines and resulted in a 964 miles per hour (431 meters per second) change in the vehicle’s velocity utilizing 780 pounds (354 kilograms) of fuel.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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