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#126 2019-10-11 18:39:41

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,730

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

knightdepaix,

There's a treasure trove of super grade metal alloys, composites, and plastics in orbit around our planet, along with numerous solar arrays and rocket engines and fuels that can be repurposed or otherwise recycled.  It cost a fortune to put all that stuff up there over the decades, so there's no reason it shouldn't be recycled aboard ISS for future uses, rather than being permitted to uselessly burn up during reentry.  There's no reason that we shouldn't experiment with in-space construction techniques, as we'll need those materials later on to build true spaceships capable of routine interplanetary transits.  The tonnage of space-grade hardware that we've simply thrown away after a single use is truly staggering.  At the very least, we should have a mandate for pristine skies to observe any asteroids in Spaceship Earth's flight path.

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#127 2019-10-12 03:30:41

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

At the very least, we should gather it all together to use as counterweights for tethers.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#128 2019-10-12 06:14:44

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,600

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

For kbd512 re #126 ....

My understanding is that each item that remains in orbit is the responsibility of the launching nation, and that capture of an object needs to be cleared with the launching nation.  That may not be a major problem for a salvage company, but it IS a consideration ... a detail ... that needs to be taken into account.

The Soviet Union launched many tons of mass into a variety of orbits, and since it does not exist I presume the Russians inherit responsibility (and security concerns).

The US put plenty of spy satellites and other vehicles into orbit, and they too may be touchy about someone corralling one of those objects.

It would be useful to know if there is an established contact point for objects in orbit, and (perhaps?) an established protocol for negotiating salvage rights?

(th)

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#129 2019-10-18 05:22:01

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,261

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Capturing things doing the very high speeds that orbiting stuff has to do is a difficult issue. You might harpoon the big items and put something like dry ice clouds in the way of very small stuff, so slowing and deorbiting the paint particles, but what about the intermediate items?
The spiders have developed a highly effective method of arresting large (relatively) flying objects using sticky threads with built in braking for deceleration. Perhaps we could develop something along these lines to capture errand spanners, nuts and bolts, microsats and similar sized objects.
We have learned how to capture rifle rounds so maybe there could be some mileage in developing Kevlar nets with titanium plates, maybe something similar to bullet proof vest construction.

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#130 2019-10-18 18:51:29

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,729

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Speed and mass makes for the danger of these pieces even from the small stuff pea size to large satelites dead in orbit. We have seen what happens with a piece of supercooled foam....these pieces of junk are a danger to all.

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#131 2020-07-01 07:56:10

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,600

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

For RobertDyck re #46

Your post showed up when I ran a search for "architecture"

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 464#p42464

While the post itself dates back to 2004, the skills and knowledge demonstrated by your work at that time are (I'm confident) still with you, and while details of specific procedures are no doubt rusty if you haven't used them for a while, they could be burnished and restored to full capability relatively quickly. 

I'm going out of my way to avoid suggesting a specific focus you might pursue.  Instead, I'm here inviting you to restart the innovative frame of mind you were in, and see if the (very small number of active) members of this forum might be able to give you positive feedback to keep the creative energies flowing.

(th)

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#132 2020-07-01 17:05:10

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,174
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

tahanson43206, I'm not sure what to add. This thread is fairly complete. What more should I say?

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#133 2020-07-01 17:12:40

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,729

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

For this no ships no mining...as you need to be quite rich to foot that up front cost to get operations of mining off the ground and them whom would be paying for that commodity....

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#134 2020-07-01 18:55:38

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,174
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Sigh. Basic fundamentals. The basic premise is you don't use expendable rockets. And the commodities you harvest are precious metals: gold, silver, platinum and platinum group. Stockpile iron and nickel at the asteroid for some future in-space venture. Byproducts will include nickel, chrome, cobalt, molybdenum, and aluminum; these make an alloy called Inconel 617. Carbon monoxide will be brought to the asteroid to process the metals, that will be a source of carbon for the alloy. Make a heat shield of that alloy, simply with a 2 part mould. Make a back shell with another 2 part mould. Place bullion inside and arc weld the heat shield to back shell. A robot spacecraft will carry the aeroshell to Earth and drop on a desert. No parachute, no control rockets, no landing system or any sort of controls. Just 3 metric tonnes of metal falling out of the sky. Tell people to stay away. Pick up with a flatbed truck with a truck crane. You would want to send a helicopter with armed guards to ensure no one steels any of the precious metal. The bars will get dented or bent on impact; that's Ok. Gold is hard to separate from silver, so don't bother at the asteroid. This means you'll take the gold-silver bars to a refinery on Earth for final processing. It'll be melted anyway, so doesn't matter if it's bent.

And don't claim flooding the market will drop the price. This'll be just another mine. And gold is used for contracts for electronics, silver for solder, platinum/palladium/rhodium for catalysts. Every oil refinery needs this catalysts to convert heavy oil to something lighter like gasoline or diesel fuel. Every catalytic converter for cars uses those same metals. Hydrogen fuel cells need those same metals, so even an oil free economy cannot get away from them. There's a shortage of the catalytic metals right now.

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#135 2020-07-01 18:57:05

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,174
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

The robot ship would drop the aeroshell then turn away, stay in space and head back to the asteroid for another load.

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#136 2020-07-01 21:22:15

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,730

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Robert,

Until 2.5kWh/kg batteries arrive, in order to make fuel cells, we need to flood the market with Platinum group metals to make them cheaper to manufacture and maintain than combustion engines.  We're roughly an order of magnitude away from achieving that goal for battery energy density, so we have the next best thing until those miracle batteries become reality.

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#137 2020-07-02 16:28:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,729

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

precious metals: gold, silver, platinum and platinum group metals ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precious_metal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum_group
https://goldmastersusa.com/purchasing/gold_scrap.asp

http://nevada-outback-gems.com/copper-o … 20Ores.htm

Approximately 8 tons of raw ore must be mined to produce just one pure ounce of platinum. Roughly 90% of all platinum supplies come from South Africa and Russia.

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