Asteroid mining company: Planetary Resources

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by Crispy, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    So later today, there will be a press conference for the launch of a new venture whose aim is the commerical exploitation of asteroids, for metals and rocket fuel (rocket fuel in space is worth 1000x what it's worth on the ground). It's being set up by a bunch of billionaires, including Charles Simonyi (two time ISS tourist), Peter Diamandis (founder of the X-prize) and others. James Cameron is on board too.

    A bit exciting!
  2. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    if they do manage to produce fuel in space, and sell it up there... will they also sell ginsters pasties?
    Sea Star likes this.
  3. TitanSound

    TitanSound Mr Beardy Drummer

    And air fresheners for your spaceship?
  4. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    I love all this stuff. This was the space future that was promised in the 60s and I want it NOW!
  5. Hmmm... the director of Aliens in a press conference for a company that will be mining in space. Just 6 or 7 weeks before Prometheus is released. A film about mining in space.

    ..... :hmm:
  6. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    The timing is good, but this is bigger than just Cameron. Lots of informed discussion here:
    AverageJoe likes this.
  7. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

  8. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    The sliding tray thing in the space fuel station would need to be air-tight.
    farmerbarleymow likes this.
  9. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Yeah, but they'll cost 3000 times what they do at the newsagent.
  10. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    I want there to be a permanent base on Ganymede.
  11. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    <<Uranus joke>>

    Doesn't matter which one.
    Voley likes this.
  12. Kid_Eternity

    Kid_Eternity "You might be a lord but here comes the king."

  13. Voley

    Voley Ramoner

    I'm torn between "Is there a possibility of probing Uranus?" and "Are there rings around Uranus?"

    Hur. Uranus.
  14. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    On various threads about sustainability and peak oil etc, I sometimes bring up the lack of space mining as evidence that human progress is not evolving in the manner which either fiction expected, or our god of growth demands.

    So yes I watch this story with interest, to see if it has any legs and whether it eventually evolves into something of mightier scale. I don't think its going to happen very quickly and setbacks & economic issues could still scupper the whole thing or stall it badly, but I shouldn't write it off just yet.

    I did raise an eyebrow some years ago when they were looking for 'signs of life's mars some years back. Yeah, what they might like to find is ex-life, crushed and compacted and aged into a useful exploitable fuel. To say it would be a challenge to utilise such resources would be an understatement, but if they knew the prize was there then Im sure some efforts would be made to exploit it somehow.
  15. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    I think while captive governments can be persuaded to facilitate high-risk, high-return financial 'innovations' while forcing the taxpayer to underwrite the risk part, the god of growth can be satisfied via ficticious captial.
    Old Gergl likes this.
  16. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Thats a very interesting subject which probably deserves further discussion on a different thread, but I can't decide which one. I know you've spoken of fictitious capital before so perhaps you could suggest a thread?
  17. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    Asteroid mining wouldn't be profitable even if every asteroid was made of gold.

    The only thing this venture is going to do is send up probes to look for fuel for NASA missions that aren't going to happen, and the only thing it's going to mine is money from the pockets of Internet billionaires who think cash can make cheesy science fiction stories come true.
  18. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Problem as I recall is that asteroids are too small and light to be any good at helping you decelerate, hence asteroids have about double the 'getting there' cost.

    It generally makes more sense to mine moons or planets, some of which are big and heavy and in Mars and Titan's case even have atmosphere you can aero-brake against, so you can get most of your 'slowing down' cost for free.
  19. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    you say that like its a bad thing!
  20. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    This is based on... ?

    But don't you then have to drag yourself plus your freshly mined cargo of ores (likely to be heavy) back up that gravity well? And even when visiting a planetary body with atmosphere it's still a good idea to slow down unless you want to end up scattered across the surface.

    Plus if you're patient then you can send an automated craft to an asteroid so you can stick a mass driver or solar sail on it, and set it on a course for Earth orbit or one of the Earth-moon Lagrange points.
  21. TitanSound

    TitanSound Mr Beardy Drummer

    Sounds like the recipe to a shit disaster film.

    "But sir, it's out of control. It'll hit New York within the hour!!!11111 zomg"

    "I can see that you idiot"

  22. King Biscuit Time

    King Biscuit Time Well-Known Member

    Apparently if you successfully mine the fuel out of six asteroids in any given year you qualify for a free set of hi-ball tumblers.
    Sea Star likes this.
  23. spacemonkey

    spacemonkey I Love Noodles

    I don't know much about moon mining, but I liked the beginning of the film moon where they showed us mining helium-3 and greening the deserts. :cool:
  24. extra dry

    extra dry Happy to be here

    They will find aliens for sure.
  25. Kid_Eternity

    Kid_Eternity "You might be a lord but here comes the king."

    As long as they ain't massive black ships that look a bit like spiders I'm ok with that...;)
  26. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

  27. strung out

    strung out (",)

    Still cheaper than your average motorway fuel station then?
    existentialist and Enviro like this.
  28. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    He sounds like an Ayn Rand type - and according to Wikipedia, he was involved in a long string of dubious business ventures before starting Moon Express.
    Somebody needs to set up some kind of giant laser or something to keep twats like this guy and Jeff Bezos out of space.
    Signal 11 likes this.
  29. mrs quoad

    mrs quoad Well-Known Member

    Packet of jellybeans, £4bn
    SpookyFrank likes this.
  30. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

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