Asteroid Mining Why Asteroid Mining Know about Asteroid Composition Mining
NASA is conducting analyses of the best asteroids for a human asteroid mission in 2025.
Asteroids characterized and explored by Planetary Resources during prospecting missions may also help NASA characterize potential human-mission targets.
Mining means –
1- The process or business of extracting ore or minerals from the ground
2-the act, process, or industry of extracting coal, ores, etc., from the earth
3-Military Meaning - laying explosive mines in concealed places to destroy enemy personnel and equipment
What is Asteroid Mining?
The process or business of extracting ore or minerals from the Asteroid.
The comets and asteroids that are potentially the most hazardous because they can closely approach the Earth are also the objects that could be most easily exploited for their raw materials.
It is not presently cost effective to mine these minerals and then bring them back to Earth.
However, these raw materials could be used in developing the space structures and in generating the rocket fuel that will be required to explore and colonize our solar system in the twenty-first century.
It has been estimated that the mineral wealth resident in the belt of asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter would be equivalent to about 100 billion dollars for every person on Earth today.
Whereas asteroids are rich in the mineral raw materials required to build structures in space, the comets are rich resources for the water and carbon-based molecules necessary to sustain life.
In addition, an abundant supply of cometary water ice could provide copious quantities of liquid hydrogen and oxygen, the two primary ingredients in rocket fuel.
It seems likely that in the next century when we begin to colonize the inner solar system, the metals and minerals found on asteroids will provide the raw materials for space structures and comets will become the watering holes and gas stations for interplanetary spacecraft.
Asteroids contain valuable and useful materials like iron, nickel, water, and rare platinum group metals, often in significantly higher concentration than found in mines on Earth.
Asteroids are primordial material left over from the formation of the Solar System.
They are scattered throughout it: some pass close to the Sun, and others are found out beyond the orbit of Neptune.
A vast majority have been collected by Jupiter’s gravity into a belt between it and Mars – an area known as the Main Belt.
Many Asteroids pass near Earth’s orbit – nearly 9,000 to date, with almost a thousand more discovered every year.
In 1960, only 20 near-Earth asteroids were known, growing to 134 by the year 1990. Today, nearly 9,000 near-Earth asteroids are known to exist, and the number increases daily.
near-Earth asteroids are easily accessible from Earth And many contain enormous quantities of accessible resource
metals in asteroids are distributed throughout their body, making them easier to extract.
Metals in Earth are close to Core.
No one should be overly concerned about an Earth impact of an asteroid or comet.
The threat to any one person from auto accidents, disease, other natural disasters, and a variety of other problems is much higher than the threat from NEOs.
Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood.
Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.
The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the left over bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today.
Likewise, today's asteroids are the bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
Near-Earth asteroids are categorized into three groups based on their distances from the Sun:
the Atens, Apollos, and Amors.
Some near-Earth asteroids spend nearly all of their time outside Earth’s orbit, while other objects, known as earth-crossers, have orbits that intersect Earth’s orbit.
The near-Earth asteroids vary widely in composition.
Each asteroid contains water, metals, and carbonaceous materials in various amounts.
Asteroids also contain metallic elements such as iron, nickel, and cobalt, nitrogen, CO, CO2, and methane, exist in quantities sufficient to warrant extraction and utilization.
It can protect from solar radiation, be used as propellant, provide a source of oxygen, and sustain food supplies
Water can be converted to rocket propellant, or supply the needs of humans living off Earth.
A single water-rich 500-meter-wide asteroid contains 80 times more water than the largest supertanker could carry and could provide, if the water were converted to rocket propellant, more than 200 times the rocket fuel required to launch all the rockets ever launched in human history.
Water from asteroids can be both converted to and used directly as propellant, then shipped and stored at strategic locations set up as fuel depots and it can be sold to others examples NASA or other space companies.
Once Water Mining extracting is successful then it will open unlimited opportunities of Mining and reducing the expenses of space travel.
Some near-Earth asteroids contain platinum group metals in much higher concentrations than the richest Earth mines.
In space, a single platinum-rich 500 meter wide asteroid contains about 174 times the yearly world output of platinum, and 1.5 times the known world-reserves of platinum group metals (ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum).
This amount is enough to fill a basketball court to four times the height of the rim.
By contrast, all of the platinum group metals mined to date in history would not reach waist-high on that same basketball court.
Planetary Resources, Inc. the asteroid mining company, was founded in 2009 and is financed by industry-launching visionaries, three of whom include Google’s CEO Larry Page & Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group
Planetary Resources, Inc., has announced an agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic's "Launcher One” to provide launch capability for the Arkyd series of robotic low-Earth orbit (LEO) space telescopes for the exploration and commercial development of Near-Earth Asteroids.
Arkyd-100 Series space telescopes objective mission is to identify additional energetically optimal, highly valuable Near-Earth Asteroids.
Which will then be added to the detailed list of the company’s prospecting targets and pursued for future potential resource extraction.
Watch the Video NASA Dawn's Virtual Flight Over Asteroid Vesta 58 KM Long
Source – NASA, planetary resources
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Tags – Asteroid Mining