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Old 04-17-2010, 10:43 PM
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Exclamation Space Mining; What Would It Involve...

I made this thread because I find it remarkably interesting since a member here is proposing that Space should be solely focused on mining.

But is just not a matter of taking a pick-axe and start chopping down space rocks. Such an endeavor will take quite a bit of surveying, probing and testing. First there is the fact that a lot of the asteroids out there are stony and a lot are not even solid but clumps of space dust and rocks held together by gravity.

Obviously the ones we would want are the metallic ones. So we need to find and identify all asteroids that are suitable for mining. Then we need to find a way to tow them to near Earth orbit safely where then they can be mined.

Now this is tricky and there is no margin for error, if there is you end up sending an asteroid down Earth's throat and making Earth have a repeat of the event that killed the dinosaurs. Ironically this towing method could be used to deflect dangerous near Earth objects should they be found in time.

But most important we need a a way to escape Earth gravity cheaply, safely and efficiently and standard surface to orbit rockets are not up to the task.

Elevators to space seem more practical for this scenario.

And last but not least it would have to be a venture that involves both the private sector and the government. As much as the one who proposes this hates freedom, libertarianism and capitalism. The government will not be able to pull all this on it's own alone.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:26 AM
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Asteroids are probably not the best place to start off. Moon mining would be the best alternative. I will elaborate later on if need be.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:28 AM
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Asteroids are probably not the best place to start off. Moon mining would be the best alternative. I will elaborate later on if need be.
Ah you mean tapping Helium 3 for nuclear fusion, you still need a manned space program for that, because Robots alone won't cut it.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:38 AM
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There isn't much on the moon, other than helium-3 as PunkMaister pointed out. Having a fully automated system would be difficult, and would make any problems that occurred harder to solve.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:43 AM
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Ah you mean tapping Helium 3 for nuclear fusion, you still need a manned space program for that, because Robots alone won't cut it.
Actually it has, iron, calcium, aluminium, among other elements. Not to mention oxygen bonded to moon rocks called Ilmenite, oxygen can be cracked from these rocks. Oxygen is the main attraction, not Helium 3.

Edit: When did I suggest making it fully automated? I have forever maintained that this would be the space programme itself. Something that obviously will include astronauts.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:42 PM
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Actually it has, iron, calcium, aluminium, among other elements. Not to mention oxygen bonded to moon rocks called Ilmenite, oxygen can be cracked from these rocks. Oxygen is the main attraction, not Helium 3.

Edit: When did I suggest making it fully automated? I have forever maintained that this would be the space programme itself. Something that obviously will include astronauts.
May I ask why would the oxygen and not the Helium 3 would be the main attraction? Because last I checked we did not have an oxygen deficit on the planet but we do have an urgent need to kick-start environmentally friendly technologies such as Nuclear Fusion.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:01 PM
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May I ask why would the oxygen and not the Helium 3 would be the main attraction? Because last I checked we did not have an oxygen deficit on the planet but we do have an urgent need to kick-start environmentally friendly technologies such as Nuclear Fusion.
The moon is 40% oxygen by weight, can you see the en-mass production that could take place? The plans have been drawn up so someone has obviously found uses for oxygen. But the Ilmenite ore also contains massive ammounts of titanium, 25% of the ore is titanium.

Of course helium-3 should be mined as well.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:28 AM
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The moon is 40% oxygen by weight, can you see the en-mass production that could take place? The plans have been drawn up so someone has obviously found uses for oxygen. But the Ilmenite ore also contains massive ammounts of titanium, 25% of the ore is titanium.

Of course helium-3 should be mined as well.
Other than tapping if for the mining colonies on the moon themselves I see no other use for it. And again we have to find a way to get to orbit that is reliable safe and effective and rockets just don't cut the mustard. So Space elevators or some other similar tech will have to be developed.


BTW: Stop distorting historical facts to fit your agenda, it will just not work with me.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PunkMaister View Post
Other than tapping if for the mining colonies on the moon themselves I see no other use for it. And again we have to find a way to get to orbit that is reliable safe and effective and rockets just don't cut the mustard. So Space elevators or some other similar tech will have to be developed.
The idea that was proposed in the book I was reading, was having a 20km long mass driver on the moon, a HUGE one that fired the ore back to earth where it is captured.

But what the hell? This mining operation would be the space programme, if the mining didn't get started right away then the resources would obviously be diverted to developing the technology to do so!

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BTW: Stop distorting historical facts to fit your agenda, it will just not work with me.
You know, that's funny because all of your supposed "facts" have been subjective.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:55 PM
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Could you explain how would you catch the ore that you throw at Earth with such a thing? I hope you mean catching it before it slams into the Earth's surface.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:25 PM
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Humm, thats is my opinions, but I think it will be more cheap to put research on durable development then mining out of our one planet surface.

I found the idea of space elevator interesting, do you have any kind of technical description of that?
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:52 AM
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It's a large platform in a geostationary orbit, connected to the surface by a long cable, most likely made of carbon nanotubes. A 'ship' can climb and descend this cable, to get people and materials into orbit with minimal effort and resources and to bring them down to Earth without the difficulty of re-entry.

Space elevator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
It's a large platform in a geostationary orbit, connected to the surface by a long cable, most likely made of carbon nanotubes. A 'ship' can climb and descend this cable, to get people and materials into orbit with minimal effort and resources and to bring them down to Earth without the difficulty of re-entry.

Space elevator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thanks very interesting, I have heard about it, but I never know it have been taken seriously.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkMaister View Post
Could you explain how would you catch the ore that you throw at Earth with such a thing? I hope you mean catching it before it slams into the Earth's surface.
Yeah, slamming it into the earth is obviously the best idea.

I was proposing something like a 1 kilometer wide, by 1.5 kilometers deep hold lined with electromagnetic rings that capture the extremely large ore bin, this is then transported away. I think its a sound plan, it would all be apart of the investment, but hey, I'm not the physicist here. There are people that have better ideas.
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