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Asteroid Mining by 'Planetary Resources'
Mongo
post Apr 18 2012, 08:07 PM
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Are Ross Perot Jr. and Google's Founders Launching a New Asteroid Mining Operation?
edit -- fixed link
On Tuesday, a new company called Planetary Resources will announce its existence at the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. It's not clear what the firm does, but its roster of backers incudes Google cofounders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, filmmaker James Cameron, former Microsoftie (and space philanthropist) Charles Simonyi, and Ross Perot Jr., son of the former presidential candidate.
According to the company's press release (below):
[...] the company will overlay two critical sectors – space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP. This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources’.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2012
*** Media Alert *** Media Alert *** Media Alert ***
Space Exploration Company to Expand Earth's Resource Base
WHAT: Join visionary Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.; leading commercial space entrepreneur Eric Anderson; former NASA Mars mission manager Chris Lewicki; and planetary scientist & veteran NASA astronaut Tom Jones, Ph.D. on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. PDT in Seattle, or via webcast, as they unveil a new space venture with a mission to help ensure humanity's prosperity.
Supported by an impressive investor and advisor group, including Google’s Larry Page & Eric Schmidt, Ph.D.; film maker & explorer James Cameron; Chairman of Intentional Software Corporation and Microsoft’s former Chief Software Architect Charles Simonyi, Ph.D.; Founder of Sherpalo and Google Board of Directors founding member K. Ram Shriram; and Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group Ross Perot, Jr., the company will overlay two critical sectors – space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP. This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources’.
The news conference will be held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. PDT and available online via webcast.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 24
10:30 a.m. PDT
WHO: Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., Space Tourist, Planetary Resources, Inc. Investor
Eric Anderson, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.
Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.
Chris Lewicki, President & Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, Inc.
Tom Jones, Ph.D., Planetary Scientist, Veteran NASA Astronaut & Planetary Resources, Inc. Advisor
WHERE: Charles Simonyi Space Gallery at The Museum of Flight
9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle, WA 98108
Event will also be streamed online.
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Phil Stooke
post Apr 18 2012, 08:21 PM
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And for another view of this:

http://www.geekwire.com/2012/space-robot-s...t-unveil-plans/

Something's up... but what?

PS try this link instead of the one in the previous message:

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimss...27776/?p1=blogs

Phil


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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ngunn
post Apr 18 2012, 10:01 PM
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As I recall the other space operator that has resources in its sights is India. Maybe there is scope for cooperation here.
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Mongo
post Apr 18 2012, 10:16 PM
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Here is a report co-written by Chris Lewicki, President of Planetary Resources, and released just two weeks ago:

Asteroid Retrieval Feasibility Study
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The Singing Badg...
post Apr 24 2012, 01:21 PM
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BBC report:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17827347

So, it seems the plan is:

1. In the next 18 to 24 months, start launching private telescopes to search for resource-rich asteroids
2. Within five to 10 years, start to sell prospecting services
3. Mine asteroids for platinum and gold, plus water for refuelling the spaceships
4. Become incredibly rich

Hmmm.....

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Mongo
post Apr 24 2012, 01:44 PM
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Here is a more in-depth analysis of what Planetary Resources will propose: Breaking: Private company does indeed plan to mine asteroids… and I think they can do it

Very ambitious plans! But a group of very wealthy people, who evidently are no fools when it comes to making money, are convinced that they can succeed.
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Explorer1
post Apr 24 2012, 05:17 PM
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Stream on now, playing music:
http://www.spacevidcast.com/live/
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Explorer1
post Apr 24 2012, 05:32 PM
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Starting now.
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jasedm
post Apr 24 2012, 06:37 PM
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I can see this thread being pulled if certain avenues are pursued, so suffice it to say that I'm in favour of anything that expands our horizons in space. It's an intriguing prospect, and I'll keenly look forward to future developments.
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TheAnt
post Apr 24 2012, 08:55 PM
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Any prospecting they might do will add to knowledge anyhow. If it be with one telescope or even up close.

But actual mining? Unless they got spare scoops of the kind they depicted, and add one lid to it. They could very well create one dust cloud that could cause quite some nuisance in near Earth space.

And unless they find one suitable asteroid, one that is very small asteroid and yet of very high grade ore at the same time. I really wonder if it could get economical.

But the idea of sharing a launch to get small and nifty 9 inch space telescopes up is a cool one, be it for observing & characterise asteroids or for other purposes is novel - I want one myself to use for my own observations. =)
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ngunn
post Apr 24 2012, 10:23 PM
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They talk about doing the mining in space and returning the processed materials to Earth. I'm wondering if they have another possibility also in mind. What about finding an asteroid rich in Lanthanides and causing it to impact in - say - Western Australia?
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Astro0
post Apr 25 2012, 02:48 AM
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"...causing it to impact in - say - Western Australia?"

SAY WHAT!!!!?????!!!!! blink.gif
Not even with the mining boom currently going on in Western Australia and the fact that we want to host the Square Kilometre Array there would you ever drop an asteroid in WA or realistically anywhere on Earth. That's a disaster movie waiting to happen that not even James Cameron would want to make wink.gif
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stevesliva
post Apr 25 2012, 03:12 AM
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I actually assumed that they mentioned the asteroid would be placed in lunar orbit to simply avoid recriminations about what would happen if it de-orbited.
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Drkskywxlt
post Apr 25 2012, 03:26 PM
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I'd like to learn more about the capabilities of these telescopes. They're talking about 9" apertures!?! How much can tiny scopes like that reasonably see? Particularly at IR wavelengths, since I assume that's where they'll be looking? Most of the larger institutional NEO Survey telescope ideas have had thermal IR scopes with apertures of ~50-100 cm (19-39").
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Fran Ontanaya
post Apr 25 2012, 03:41 PM
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They may be busy enough studying known NEOs when they are closer to Earth. I suppose NEO surveys have to discover them over a bigger space, and they may not have much time to devote to each rock.


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"I can easily see still in my mind’s-eye the beautiful clusters of these berries as they appeared to me..., when I came upon an undiscovered bed of them... – the rich clusters drooping in the shade there and bluing all the ground" -- Thoreau
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