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#51 2004-07-07 15:53:51

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Why did the Darpa grand challenge fail, It didnt, there where no winners so what, it was a research mission.
The problem is that we have imbecile robots, to programme into a robot enough information to create an imbecile dog level of intelligence would take a team about 300 years. So we try to create self learning robots, these robots learn for themselves and as they grow they get brighter. We are at a very early stage with these technigues and technology.

I don't understand why you would want learning robots for something like the Darpa challenge. The route is known and simple logic should handlel unknown obstacles. Simple pathfinding I would guess that you also find in 10 year old computer games.

I think you are going the wrong way by wanting to create a mammal like intelligence in robots. Insect like intelligence should do for 99,95% of the tasks.


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#52 2004-07-07 16:11:40

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

If we could figger out how to hook my computer to an on line network where we could all look at cad program together and work out engeneering detail on the electronic side house. Now that would be some thing interesting.

If you can accept a crude but working now solution to this, then I can help you with this problem.

You should use a desktop sharing application such as Windows XP Remote Sharing or VNC. VNC is somewhat slower but you can have clients from what ever OS, as long as they have a webbrowser and JAVA. You also have non free applications for these tasks which also allow you to share files like an FTP server. Here is an example. However sofar as I know only VNC (which is opensource and free) allows multiple people to connect to your computer.

Now if you are working on Windows (I don't know other solutions) and use Yahoo Messenger you can have conferences, meaning allowing multiple people to connect and talk at the same time.

---

This all gives you a crude but working enverioment to do what you want and its 100% free.


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#53 2004-07-07 16:33:52

Martian Republic
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From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

If we could figger out how to hook my computer to an on line network where we could all look at cad program together and work out engeneering detail on the electronic side house. Now that would be some thing interesting.

If you can accept a crude but working now solution to this, then I can help you with this problem.

You should use a desktop sharing application such as Windows XP Remote Sharing or VNC. VNC is somewhat slower but you can have clients from what ever OS, as long as they have a webbrowser and JAVA. You also have non free applications for these tasks which also allow you to share files like an FTP server. Here is an example. However sofar as I know only VNC (which is opensource and free) allows multiple people to connect to your computer.

Now if you are working on Windows (I don't know other solutions) and use Yahoo Messenger you can have conferences, meaning allowing multiple people to connect and talk at the same time.

---

This all gives you a crude but working enverioment to do what you want and its 100% free.

I clicked on it and made it a favorite and saved it.

At the present time I don't have a use for it, but now I have the link when I need it.

Larry,

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#54 2004-07-07 16:38:46

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I clicked on it and made it a favorite and saved it.

At the present time I don't have a use for it, but now I have the link when I need it.

Larry,

No that was a paid (shareware) application ment as example. If you are really interested then look at TightVNC. Which is free and runs on many platforms.

TightVNC Features

Here is a brief list of TightVNC features absent in the standard VNC.

    * File transfers in Win32 version. You can updload files from your local machine to the TightVNC server, and download files from the server to you computer.
    * Local cursor handling. Cursor movements do not generate screen updates any more, remote cursor movements are processed locally by the viewer, so you do not see slow remote cursor movements behind the local cursor.
    * Efficient compression algorithms. New Tight encoding is optimized for slow and medium-speed connections and thus generates much less traffic as compared to traditional VNC encodings. At the same time, TightVNC supports all the standard VNC encodings, so it can operate efficiently over fast networks, too. Thus, with TightVNC you can work remotely almost in real time in most network environments.
    * Configurable compression levels. You can choose any appropriate level of compromise between compression ratios and coding speed, depending on your connection speed and processor power.
    * Optional JPEG compression. If you don't care too much about perfect image quality, you can use JPEG compression which will compress color-rich screen areas much more efficiently (the image quality level is configurable too).
    * Enhanced Web browser access. TightVNC includes a greatly improved Java viewer with full support for Tight encoding, local cursor feature, 24-bit color mode, and more. The Java viewer applet can be accessed via built-in HTTP server like in the standard VNC.
    * Support for two passwords (full-control and read-only). The server allows or disallows remote keyboard and mouse events depending on which password was used for authentication.
    * Advanced Properties dialog in WinVNC. Unlike the standard VNC, TightVNC gives you the possibility of setting a number of advanced settings directly from the WinVNC GUI, and to apply changed settings immediately. There is no need to launch regedit to set query options, connection priority, to allow loopback connections, disable HTTP server etc.
    * Flexible configuration options. Unlike the standard VNC, TightVNC allows you to choose arbitrary port numbers for TCP/IP connections, in addition to display numbers traditionally used in VNC.
    * Automatic SSH tunneling on Unix. The Unix version of TightVNC viewer can tunnel connections via SSH automatically using a local SSH/OpenSSH client installation (provided that an SSH/OpenSSH server is running on the server as well).
    * And more. TightVNC features a number of other improvements, performance optimizations and bugfixes, see change logs for more information.


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#55 2004-07-07 16:45:34

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

With TightVNC if you want more then one (remote) person seeing your desktop, you will need to enable Request Shared Session option.


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#56 2004-07-07 18:24:12

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,862

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Quote (Smurf975 @ July 07 2004, 17:53)

I dont understand why you would want learning robots for something like the Darpa challenge. The route is known and simple logic should handle unknown obstacles

Well smurf the first thing is the route was NOT known it was a closely guarded secret until the morning of the challenge. The teams where then given a set of waypoints there robot had to make and the final place to stop. These waypoints where allowed to be put into the robots computers but it became up to the robot how to get there. It was the problems the robots had with the stimuli they had that caused most of the crashes.
What is simple logic?
To a robot there is no such thing. A robot must learn that you cant drive through a wall, that going too fast in poor terrain will cause you to crash. Programming this in is a nightmare and you cant teach every scenario. That was the whole idea behind the Darpa challenge. They Want robots that can respond to a changing enviroment, the robot must be able to get to those target points and in a schedule (Darpa set a time limit). Why did no team succeed even though some organisations had robots with $millions of equipment, they could not get this very easy idea of terrain to a human into a way of thought for a robot.

Oh, and to show just how new this science is the most original and "intelligent" robot there was created by amateurs and the likelihood the way they set there Robot up will be copied by all the big Universities with there MegaBudget and sponsors next year.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#57 2004-07-07 18:59:38

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I didn't know that the route was unknown. So my mistake and I get a better grasp of the problems facing the robot builder teams.

With simple logic, I mean what do incase of an obstacle. The AI doesn't need to understand "walls" in the DARPA challenge. It must understand that its an object of certain dimensions and if its powerful enough to "conquer" an object of its dimensions or if it should find an alternation route (a way around it).

For example you have a fallen tree or a brick wall of 20 cm's high (I think that’s about 2/3 foot) across a road. Now if the robot is a buggy or truck it can easily "conquer" this object. The robot should know that an object (pre-programmed) of a certain size will only make the journey less comfortable not impossible. Smaller robots will have other parameters.

A robot must learn that you cant drive through a wall, that going too fast in poor terrain will cause you to crash.

A robot must know of object and its dimensions and that’s all. Use radar and sonar to determine this.
However yes a robot must know about terrain types and how to act to them but there are not a lot different kinds of terrain types so the can be pre programmed. For instance:

1.    If on soft terrain then speed should be such and so. (Suspension sensors decide the terrain)
2.    Don’t enter water deeper then the height of your suspension (Sonar and radar)
3.    And so on…

Just travel a couple of days with off road motorists and take notes. It should be less lines of code to set up those rules then programming a [i:post_uid1]learning[/i:post_uid1] AI.
---

The entire goal is to reach the finish line not to be able to directly dumb the robot in Iraq or the Jungle


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#58 2004-07-07 19:24:04

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,023
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Hi smurf, I'll read the NASA report; I'm sure it will be interesting.

I believe in keeping things simple. Study the problem until it's broken down into tasks that are do-able. The Russians have a radar system on Progress for automated rendezvous and docking, and NASA's NEAR probe was able to rendezvous and land on an asteroid. I don't have technology to do it yet, but it has already been proven. I do have a catalogue from General Dynamics for rocket engines. Hell, at this point it's just a dream.

But one of the conference attendees at the Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Science Symposium had an image processing system to analyze video of rock on a moving conveyor belt to determine particle size and distribution. Someone else had a lidar system that could be used for orbital rendezvous. Another paper was "Thermal infrared spectroscopy of mineralogy and bulk rock chemistry for the primary triage of core". So why should I invent machine vision systems when others are? Depth perception isn't necessary when you have a lidar system which uses laser range finding for direct measurement.

A lot of the high-level decision making will be by humans from Earth. Reasoning, intelligence, logical deductions, plausible inference, planning; all these things will be done by people. We need robots to clamp onto a big hunk of space metal, grind off bits, ensure the bits go into the processor and don't float off into space, then process the ore.

Energy production: solar. You have free energy 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. In space it's never night and never cloudy.

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#59 2004-07-07 19:28:42

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

This leaves:

1. How will you get them their
2. Who are your customers?


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#60 2004-07-07 19:55:36

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

BTW: Don’t think you have to design every bit from rockets to mining drones.

You should take in to account that Russia is using its ICBM to launch satellites into orbit. Strap a few boosters to those and you are of the asteroid field.

Like any good industry production practice, if someone can build a part cheaper then you or has a working model of what you need. Then use it. Worry about improving them later as soon as you have something working (space ship one) and attracted media and investor attention.

Hey if this system doesn’t work then your company wouldn’t have customers and each one would design their own autopilot system.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that you should stick to of the shelf parts and products when possible. As those parts and products will always be cheaper then your home made ones as for one they have a bigger market.


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#61 2004-07-08 03:43:54

Rxke
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Legally, can you actually mine an asteroid? Or is that only possible for scientific purposes?
Either way, if the Japanese get away with killing whales for 'research,' then so should asteroid-miners, IMO.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#62 2004-07-08 08:24:02

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,023
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Customers: there is an established market for precious metals. If a few trinkets make of asteroid metal can be sold above normal market price, the so much the better.

One thing Jim Benson said at PTMSS was they didn't bother getting a permit to fly a commercial rocket. They got permission from the FAA after the fact. He said sometimes it is better to get forgiveness than permission.

The U.N Space Treaty prohibits any government from owning any celestial body. The loop hole is that the rule only applies to government. The Lunar Embassy is selling deeds to 1 acre plots on the Moon and Mars using that loop hole. They have already been challenged in court; the result was that their deeds are treated as novelty items. The owner is trying to raise funds for a private unmanned probe to the Moon to gain validity for his claim that he can sell deeds. Well, I still don't think that would give him ownership of the Moon and you can't sell what you don't own. So if I stake a claim on an asteroid, who's going to stop me?

Of course, what I really want is to manufacture the equipment for asteroid mining and sell it to someone else who'll operate the mine. I started this thread with a discussion of how to do it. You guys challenged me whether it can be done, as a result I feel pushed into actually doing it. Perhaps that is the answer. Perhaps the best marketing method is to actually start mining an asteroid; mining companies and other entrepreneurs would get interested after the first few pieces of jewellery made from asteroid metal are in the hands of space enthusiasts.

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#63 2004-07-08 10:57:25

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Ehhh I think the litmus test for space reasources is not if it will work, but if it will make a profit. Mining the Moon/asteroids/etc for "novelty metals" is an interesting idea, but I think the demand for such material relative to the costs of getting the stuff is dubious. Plus, the more of it you mine, the less of a novelty it is, limiting your business model inherintly, since its questionable if you can make the leap from novelty metals to compete-with-Earth mining of precious metals.

And no, NASA/RSA have not done alot of the development for you. They have done alot with the technology, and made large engines, expensive but reliable flight electronics, etc... but nothing like this. Even with the engines bought from one of the big aerospace names, you are still a long way from making a launch vehicle, much less a space mining operation. See Kistler's K-1, running off of purchased simple and proven LOX/Kerosene engines.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#64 2004-07-08 11:48:52

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,023
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Notice I did not say this was for novelty metals; that is just a bonus. This is for precious metals: platinum, gold, silver, and the other platinum group metals. The plan is to send automated equipment that requires a supply of electronics once in a while for the entry capsules, but only that, and sends back regular shipments of bullion.

I'm not talking about making a launch vehicle. There are a lot of people doing that.

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#65 2004-07-08 12:40:10

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Well, then you would need a pretty big operation to send back enough commodity precious metals to make the venture worthwhile. I also don't think that you can make return/reentry vehicles from asteroid metals + chips from Earth, at least not for a long long time. Using a reuseable rocket along the lines of the Kistler K-1, except leave the upper stage on orbit and use it as a metal carrier a few tons at a time. A solar/ion tug takes the payload to the asteroid and returns to the orbiting stage with a load of metal.

And you will need to come up with a launch vehicle, right now no vehicle suits that is economical enough to launch such a contraption or a cargo-return vehicle.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#66 2004-07-08 12:47:52

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I just thought of this scenario:

Use a grinder to grind up the asteroids in to a powder form. Then fill huge plastic like bags with this ore and crash land those bags on the moon and process/refine them there before you send them to Earth. Use a catapult like device to launch from asteroid --> moon to Earth.


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#67 2004-07-08 12:55:37

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,862

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

If Bigalow gets his way there will be orbiting industries within 20years, He is relying on these to buy his inflatable Habitats. These industries will need supplies, these supplies can come from the Asteroids/Moon. So now there is a customer.

These industries will start small but if they take off they will need a constant supply of resources and materials. If they can be supplied cheaper than by earth launch then there will be Asteroid mining.

Oh to show how ridiculous the Lunar treaty is a Scottish solicitor has claimed the Sun, we now owe him for 2-3 Billion years of energy.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#68 2004-07-08 13:00:06

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
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Posts: 6,056

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Trouble is, its easier to send the supplies from Earth in large degree rather than going to the Moon (fuel), deorbit (more fuel), land (fuel fuel), launch to LLO (fuel fuel fuel), and back to Earth orbit (fuuuel)... as for asteroid mining, what supplies? Water? Bigalow's inflatables are made from Aramide fibers, not steel and cast iron.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#69 2004-07-08 13:21:09

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I was thinking on how you would get your mined resources on Earth. Lets say you are going for the asteroids and refine there and ship directly to Earth scenario.

You could have for instance a cargo ship that works on nuclear or an ion drive or be catapulted and so wouldn't need much or no earth fuels. But how will you get your goods through the atmosphere and land safely where it’s needed and be affordable? (BTW: On its way back the cargo ship will carry supplies and spare parts with it)

I was thinking of some kind of throwaway entry pod that contains the ore and is unleashed from the cargo ship at Earth orbit. But still it would be expensive and you will have to manufacture those in space and that is again very expensive to setup (a factory).

Unless if you can make the cargo (the refined ore) it self act an entry pod. By shaping it some way (like a lifting body) with a coating of an ablative material, and make controlled crashes on Earth.


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#70 2004-07-08 13:30:09

Rxke
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Hmmm... Couldn't you 'simply' send the processed material to a stable Lagrange-point, and set up a 'market' there. So another company figure out what to do with it? A bit like how a mine/refinery on Earth works: they don't do the transport to the factories, the factories go get the stuff, or a third party (boats, truckers, railroad)
A growing amount of refined stuff in an 'easily' reachable place (once yo're in LEO) must be a great incentive for companies wanting to build, say Solar farms. You sell it to them. You don't have to do the whole stuff yourself: processing and transport to Earth. If someone really wants the stuff on Earth, *he* will have to figure out how to do it, not you.
And Bigelowhabs could form the factories.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#71 2004-07-08 13:48:55

clark
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Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,265

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Of course, what I really want is to manufacture the equipment for asteroid mining and sell it to someone else who'll operate the mine. I started this thread with a discussion of how to do it. You guys challenged me whether it can be done, as a result I feel pushed into actually doing it.

Okay, time to be positive. Put a new hat on. Yehaw!  big_smile

What's that adage? Location, Location, Location.

First things first Robert, get some asteroid maps. There has to be a catalogue of nearby asteroids (any volunteer gophers?).

Develop criteria for establishing likely canadites for "Mission Impossible - Roberts Mine." (trademark it)  :laugh:

Some suggestions: consider the top X number (say 25) asteroids that enter into a near Earth orbit. We want a fast turn around time, and the less fuel needed to get there, the better. From those, consider size and known composition. Ones that are bigger, and have more relative value (either scientific or base mineral) will be a better payoff and a bigger target.

Now, the technical side, I can't help really, but here is an idea: Just focus on returning any amount of material. It will have scientific value, and thus value to someone. Also develop a simple probe that allows you to confirm actual amounts of metals within the asteroids- knowing the composition will have value, as you can then sell that information to other parties.

I might suggest that the best way to make a buck intially is to figure out if you can get water or rocket fuel out of any floating asteroid. That is where the money is right now (and can be used to reduce your own costs).

Just throwin out a bone.


smile

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#72 2004-07-08 13:55:49

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Yes in the ideal situation it should work like that but I don't think you will have a lot of space faring customers in the next 50 years that have the means to construct complex objects in space using only your refined materials. Why else are they going for inflatable habs? Even the ISS was build on Earth.

If you want to have Earth customers you can't expect "normal" factories and transportation companies to start a space project to retrieve your refined products from space. As its just to expensive for them to do so. Remember that Earth minerals are still available in enough quantities and people knowledgeable about practical space technologies are still in small enough quantities for "normal" companies to see this as an impractical operation as who will design, build and operate the projects?

I would guess that as you are already in space its a lot easier to dump your refined products on Earth in some remote location such as Australia or Siberia. Then go up from Earth and retrieve it.

Again if there are space stations needing of these products then they are welcome customers. But you should also expand your market by exporting to Earth it self. More customers mean faster return on investments.


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#73 2004-07-08 14:07:59

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

No, the "just return somthing, anything!" is a sure-fire way to make sure no investor will take you seriously, and why would anyone care about composition information if you can't mine yet, other than a few scientists? It would re-introduce Burt Rurtan's "giggle factor" that has made (and continues to) small-time commertial spaceflight a joke when it comes to real money.

Putting refined materials into orbit or Lagrange and leaving them there for someone "to come get" is an absolutely silly proposition from a profit standpoint... the market after all is on Earth, so that is where the material has to go. Shipping it down a few tons at a time with a multi-stage RLV that docks with a LEO-to-asteroid-to-LEO tug seems like the best option to me.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#74 2004-07-08 14:16:05

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,265

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

No, the "just return somthing, anything!" is a sure-fire way to make sure no investor will take you seriously, and why would anyone care about composition information if you can't mine yet, other than a few scientists?

Information is power. Oil companies and mineral companies pay big money for information on location of valuable deposits. I'm also looking at this from a small scale operation that would eventually ramp up.

Landing on asteroids and mining stuff for return isn't exactly routine ya know. So you start small, and get scientific grants for stuff like this. It also allows you to prove to investors that you can pull something like this off- for bigger bucks.

It would re-introduce Burt Rurtan's "giggle factor" that has made (and continues to) small-time commertial spaceflight a joke when it comes to real money.

Whatever. Luckily your opinion on the matter is worth as much as the electronic type that is used to spout it.  tongue  big_smile

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#75 2004-07-08 14:17:46

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

No, the "just return somthing, anything!" is a sure-fire way to make sure no investor will take you seriously, and why would anyone care about composition information if you can't mine yet, other than a few scientists? It would re-introduce Burt Rurtan's "giggle factor" that has made (and continues to) small-time commertial spaceflight a joke when it comes to real money.

I think its important as its a proof of concept. It will get you medai attention and lets you work out the bugs before deploying full scale.

Shipping it down a few tons at a time with a multi-stage RLV that docks with a LEO-to-asteroid-to-LEO tug seems like the best option to me.

Personally I think this is to expensive. I would rather go for a controlled crash in remote areas (like I mentioned in a previous post). This way nothing goes up from Earth except some light weight supplies and parts. As the materials are not fragile in anyway you don't need to make soft landings and have to maintain and build some expansive hardware on Earth.


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