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#1 2016-10-28 00:06:41

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

http://www.space.com/34525-giant-metall … water.html
And thus may be a possible place to establish a colony.
psyche-metal-asteroid-140114c-02.jpg?interpolation=lanczos-none&downsize=600:*

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#2 2016-10-28 19:55:15

SpaceNut
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Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

I do not know anything about the asteriod but with a little looking I see that Radar observations indicate that Psyche has a fairly pure iron–nickel composition. With Psyche being massive enough that its gravitational perturbations on other asteroids can be observed, which enables a mass measurement.

20140219_Psyche-compared.png

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#3 2016-10-29 07:35:44

RobertDyck
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Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

I heard that all metal meteorites are believed to come from the core of a protoplanet that broke up. To differentiate metal from rock, the object had to have been large enough to melt it's core, and large enough for gravity to cause metal to fall to the centre and rock to float. That's big. Would that require a dwarf planet like Ceres, or is an asteroid like Vesta big enough? So Psyche is the core of such a body, now exposed. Did all metal meteorites come from the same object? Is Psyche what's left of the core of that same object? Or did several objects break up?

In any case, if the book "Rare Earth" is correct about the magnetic field, the fact Psyche isn't molten and doesn't have a large moon means it shouldn't have a magnetic field as strong as Earth. It could have a magnetic field, but weak.

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#4 2016-10-29 08:54:45

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

Tom Said:

http://www.space.com/34525-giant-metall … water.html
And thus may be a possible place to establish a colony.

I think it is a very good idea.  The metals to be delivered to Earth, and other space locations useful, should earn a strong income justifying the launching of materials into space, so an economy.

The question is can Mars be hooked into that economy, and even make it more vibrant?  I think the answer is yes.
I am cross referencing to this:"Future tech? I took this from one of RobertDyck's posts."
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=7518

If you look into it you have more than the suggestion that fusion might become useful.

You have the means to "Mine" the upper atmospheres of both Earth and Mars.

You also have a suggested propulsion system where the use of Martian atmosphere as the propulsion mass is suggested.

So, if I am not mistaken, it is a Plasma Mass Driver System, or related to that.

Of the two possible sources of upper atmosphere gases I think Mars will be better, since CO2 is denser, and freezes and liquefies at a higher temperature than Earth atmospheric gasses.  Also the Martian gravity well is smaller, and of course Mars itself is further up in the suns gravity well than is the Earth.

So, if this were done it is possible that rather quickly, a solar economy involving Earth, Luna, Mars, Phobos, Demos, and 16 Psyche could be established. 

Metals going to Earth to pay for Humans launched into LEO.
Metals in Earth orbit to facilitate transfer of humans to various locations in the solar system.  Martian atmospheric gasses as propulsion mass.

Therefore if this worked that way, Mars would have a "Cash Machine" of it's own.  And metals from 16 Psyche could facilitate housing in orbit around Mars for humans, and giant machines for terraforming Mars, such as Mirrors, and Solar power plants (Microwave the ice bodies from orbit?)

And also dropping smart dust on the polar ice caps.  I just call it smart dust, because I am thinking it could be more mechanical than dust.  Perhaps hollow beads which because of a large surface area could be dropped from orbit and survive re-entry, the drop through the atmosphere, and impact onto the ice caps.

They would be lighter than ice, so I would hope they will tend to stay on top.  They would also be of a dark color.  As for their surface characteristics, I am thinking that they might perhaps promote evaporation, but I don't have that figured out yet.

Last edited by Void (2016-10-29 09:20:27)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#5 2016-10-29 10:36:26

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

RobertDyck wrote:

I heard that all metal meteorites are believed to come from the core of a protoplanet that broke up. To differentiate metal from rock, the object had to have been large enough to melt it's core, and large enough for gravity to cause metal to fall to the centre and rock to float. That's big. Would that require a dwarf planet like Ceres, or is an asteroid like Vesta big enough? So Psyche is the core of such a body, now exposed. Did all metal meteorites come from the same object? Is Psyche what's left of the core of that same object? Or did several objects break up?

In any case, if the book "Rare Earth" is correct about the magnetic field, the fact Psyche isn't molten and doesn't have a large moon means it shouldn't have a magnetic field as strong as Earth. It could have a magnetic field, but weak.

You could dig inside the asteroid, and if you go deep enough, all that metal bulk should protect adequately from all solar flares. Metal isn't he best shield, it produces secondary radiation, but if you go down far enough, even that will be ameliorated. Besides nickel and iron, there is likely heavier metals such as uranium in this asteroid, so space reactors, this could be valuable, there is likely gold, platinum and yes tungsten in this asteroid.

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#6 2016-10-29 12:04:44

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

Yes, that would be wonderful I think Tom.

A shaft of connected chambers, some can have spinning machines in them for synthetic gravity.
I bet science is just dying to find out what layers can be carved into.
To look inside the heart of a world.
Got to be some scientific interest in that.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#7 2016-10-30 02:47:32

elderflower
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Posts: 1,169

Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

I'm a bit concerned about the prospects for mining metallic asteroids. Iron and nickel are not so rare on earth, and probably not on mars either, that it is an economic proposition, due to the cost of getting the very dense product to the point of use. For space service most demand will be for items which need to be accelerated, for which light materials are preferred. Siderophile elements will likely be present, but not Aluminium or Magnesium.

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#8 2016-10-30 06:45:54

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

It would be great for building space colonies out of, and spaceships, Iron and nickel are building materials.

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#9 2016-10-30 09:46:22

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
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Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

elderflower wrote:

I'm a bit concerned... Iron and nickel are not so rare on earth, and probably not on mars either, that it is an economic proposition, due to the cost of getting the very dense product to the point of use.

There is gold, silver, platinum, and platinum group metals. There are 6 metals in the platinum group, one is platinum itself, the other 5 are palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium, and osmium. When molten, gold and silver stick to iron, so iron deposits tend to have those. Platinum group metals stick to nickel, so nickel deposits tend to have those. I treat meteorites on Earth as a fair sample of Near Earth Objects. Meteorites do have all these precious metals. Gold in meteorites is not as concentrated as the richest gold mines on Earth, but it is more than the poorest gold mines on Earth. So somewhere in between. Metal asteroids are not oxide ore, they're metal, so ferrous metals can be extracted using the Mond process. That uses carbon monoxide with moderate pressure and temperature, about 1 atmosphere pressure and about +200°C. This can extract iron, nickel, and cobalt. Each metal requires different temperatures for the process to work, so you can separate them, produce extremely pure metal. This is used on Earth as the final refining step for nickel. Ironically, it can be used at an asteroid as the initial processing step, to remove the bulk of the material. The result would have everything else concentrated, including gold and silver. Furthermore, this process works with platinum group metals if you increase the temperature, pressure, and for some platinum group metals you have to add fluorine gas.

The idea is to use nickel and chrome from the asteroid to create a heat shield and aeroshell for delivery to Earth. Then pile precious metal bullion inside. Silver is difficult to separate from gold, so don't even try. That refining step can be done on Earth. So bars that are 98% gold/silver alloy, with 2% other metals. And platinum that is already 99.999% pure, bars of pure palladium, pure rhodium, etc.

There is a need for these metals. Europe has banned lead solder from electronics, and there is a push to do that in North America too. Solder was 60% tin, 40% lead. Now solder is still 60% tin, but the remainder is a mixture of copper and silver. Edge connectors of cards for your computer are plated in 24-carrot gold. Power connectors for your iPhone or iPad mini are gold. Contact points on processors are plated in gold. Gold is used more and more for contacts of electronics. Oil refineries convert crude oil into gasoline, diesel, naphtha for plastic, and other usable products using catalysts of platinum, palladium, or rhodium. Catalytic converter for your car uses one of these 3 metals. Hydrogen fuel cells use a thin polymer membrane coated in one of these 3 metals, so alternative energy does not get away from them. Spark plugs have contacts made of iridium. So these metals are needed.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-10-30 09:53:17)

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#10 2016-10-31 12:38:28

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

I would be very interested in a derivative of the Mond process, to drill into this object.  It could relatively easily dissolve Iron and Nickle, but would leave residue of other materials as solids, unless you modified it.  This sounds like a great way to mine Iron and Nickle, and create a useful "VOID" smile and have a residue, some of which would be waste, and perhaps some would be very valuable metals.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#11 2018-04-20 20:29:10

SpaceNut
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Posts: 17,841

Re: Giant Metallic Asteroid Psyche may have water

The talk of inner and outer solar exploration reminded me of Psyche:
Terraformation» 16 Psyche
Unmanned probes» Psyche and Lucy Missions

NASA Moves Up Launch of Psyche Mission to a Metal Asteroid

The Psyche Mission was selected for flight earlier this year under NASA's Discovery Program, a series of lower-cost, highly focused robotic space missions that are exploring the solar system.

The scientific goals of the Psyche mission are to understand the building blocks of planet formation and explore firsthand a wholly new and unexplored type of world. The mission team seeks to determine whether Psyche is the core of an early planet, how old it is, whether it formed in similar ways to Earth's core, and what its surface is like. The spacecraft's instrument payload will include magnetometers, multispectral imagers, and a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer.

Why NASA Is Sending a Spacecraft to a Metal Asteroid Called 'Psyche'

About 17,000 big Near-Earth asteroids remain undetected: How NASA could spot them

https://www.nasa.gov/psyche

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/psyche/

https://psyche.asu.edu/

04 years / 122 days / 01:33:43 hours to launch

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