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Featured Space Asteroid mining by 2015?

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by kierand, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. kierand

    kierand Cadet

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    So, a private enterprise named 'Deep Space' have announced that they aim to commence the mining of near-Earth asteroids in 2015. The great thing is their ships will be called Fireflies, but who actually thinks this will happen?

    More info at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21144769
     
  2. BudBrewster

    BudBrewster Captain

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    I can see it now: Indian Jones and the Asteroid of Gold.
     
  3. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    Heh...why not? If there's enough profit in it, businesses will find a way.

    I just saw news articles about human-like robots that resembled one of my stories ("Some Assembly Required") from quite a while back. So, why not another real-life circumstance that resembles one of my other stories?

    Hopefully Deep Space doesn't end up taking the same path as the asteroid mining company did in my story "Supply and Demand" (from my second Aston West Triple-Shot back in 2012)...
     
  4. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

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    By 2015? No, I dont think so.
    Eventually, perhaps, if we can figure out cosmic radiation sheilding.
    No matter how automated we think we are, we will still need humans in space.
    The human body is not designed for space. We have to overcome that main obstacle before any prolonged exposure is possible.
     
  5. JRenee

    JRenee Writer, Inventor, Quantum Activist

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    Robots on the other hand would be excellent at mining and without biological concerns! Also, they don't complain about having to work 24 hours a day, non-stop. (y)
    But, one would have to wonder how expensive any materials recovered would be, considering the cost of launching and navigating to asteroids/comets... Maybe instead of bringing materials back to Earth, just start a new economy... IN SPACE!
     
  6. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    SpaceCoin? :D
     
  7. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    Except for the mechanical concerns of running machines that often, that long.

    But with the testing they're doing of 3D printing in space, there is still hope for a new space economy.
     
  8. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

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    LOL - I see a Robot sitting on an asteroid hundreds of thousands of miles away from a programmer seized up because it encountered an obstacle that was not in its programming and has no means to re-initiate. Perhaps it is stuck in a crevice or buried in silt. All the signals sent to reprogram it will not help it if it is not equipped with a shovel or a ladder.
    We see this problem with the Mars rovers all the time.
    I don't think the solution will be entirely robotic/mechanized. I see the solution being the development of shielding to accommodate a human presence. Shielding technology that is effective will not only unlock asteroid and planetary mining it will open avenues for manned explorations we currently can't accomplish.

    There are enough resources at Saturn to build a feasible way-station. The obstacle is the cosmic radiation and what it does to the human body.
     
  9. JRenee

    JRenee Writer, Inventor, Quantum Activist

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    What do you mean stuck in a crevice or buried in silt? R2 could surely be equipped with a shovel, and could build stairs probably...
    *sigh* he's so dreamy! :love:
    :X3:

    roboticsindustryassoc-president-jeff-burnstein-shakes-hands-with-gm-nasa-robonaut-2.jpg
     
  10. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

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    {Pointing}Yes, but he has a bandaid on his weewee?
     
  11. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    I don't know... it looks like he has worked on his upper body strength but skipped the legs. :P
     
  12. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    The turning point will be when they can utilized on-demand capabilities like 3D printing utilizing resources obtained from the planet/moon/asteroid the probe is on instead of having to bring its own supplies.
     
  13. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    I can only imagine what folks will think about extensive excavation on other planets or the moon. The asteroid might be a good plan, as long as someone triple-checks the calculations on how much they take out and the orbital change we create. I'm certain there's a sci-fi apocalypse novel in there somewhere...
     
  14. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    Sounds like a future Aston West novel in the making. :D

    After barely escaping from authorities with a full cargo of illicit goods, Aston's ship is damaged and must be repaired before he can leave the area. A nearby asteroid, the site of a mining operation, provides just the cover Aston needs until he discovers that over zealous miners have altered the trajectory of the asteroid. Aston must now not only save his ship but also the lives of millions of colonists on the planet that the asteroid is on a collision course with!
     
  15. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

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    No Problem!
    Moot Point if we use a Doomsday Machine!

    [​IMG]

    There will be no asteroid left to collide with anything.
    Once its full it comes to Earth, Backs its tail up to a predesignated area like the Grand Canyon or the Sahara desert and deposits its processed ore. Then back to Gobbling Time.
     
  16. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    Heh...I had a story out there somewhere where a mining company had destroyed an entire planet so they could mine the remnants. I could totally see this one as well.
     
  17. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    Well, I don't think the 2015 deadline will be met but when somebody out there does get to mining an asteroid it looks like, at least for the US, that they'll be able to claim ownership of it.

    It's interesting that space tourism is specifically covered in case of an accident but what if a commercial mining accident sends an asteroid in the direction of a satellite or space station or ship or even Earth?


    During the last 15 years one of the most promising developments in US spaceflight has been a proliferation of new businesses entering the sector. It's not just SpaceX, but rather a host of companies such as Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and many others seeking to make a buck or two in outer space.

    On Tuesday evening Congress took a key step toward encouraging the development of this industry when the Senate passed H.R. 2262, the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, with bipartisan support. The legislation provides a number of pro-business measures, such as establishing legal rights for US citizens to own resources in outer space as well as extending indemnification for commercial launches through 2025.

    "This bill provides the boost America’s private space partners need as they lead the world into the future," said Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. "This bill will keep America at the forefront of aerospace technology, create jobs, reduce red tape, promote safety, and inspire the next generation of explorers."

    Space mining advocates, including Planetary Resources, praised the new law. “Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multi-planetary species," said Eric Anderson, co-founder and co-chairman of the asteroid mining company—which is backed by several Google founders. "This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and it will foster the sustained development of space."

    In addition to mineral rights and indemnification, the new law also extends the so-called "learning period," which protects space tourism companies by requiring paying customers to fly at their own risk and prevents the FAA from stepping in unless there is a major accident. The bill also extends the lifetime of the International Space Station through 2024, ensuring viability of commercial projects on board the orbiting laboratory.

    The House will soon pass the final version of measure, which will then go to President Obama. He is expected to sign the legislation.
     
  18. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    Don't worry...once someone starts making a lot of money through their stellar property and businesses, governments will quickly find a way to bilk them for it...
     
  19. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    Out of morbid curiosity, I scoured through my files. The story I was thinking of was "Supply and Demand" which is part of my Dirty Dozen collection.
     
  20. Randal R.

    Randal R. Thon'dar

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    Wait a minute. How can anyone venture into space mining when the earth is flat?
    Flat Earth
    Proof=Plane Not A Planet
     

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