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Mining in Space

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posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 11:24 PM
reply to post by cmdrkeenkid

Africa would be the best place for an electromagnetic catapult, particularly with the exiting terminus built off the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

This illustrates exactly why I fear mining in space will play havoc with Earth’s environment. Mount Kilimanjaro will not be improved with a mess of ugly hardware on top of it.

As for the idea of bombarding Earth with huge rocks from space, it is simply insane.

This kind of thing is just boys with toys. It is a childish, irresponsible and greedy attitude. I’m sorry to be so condemnatory, but it really has to be said. One of the OP’s reasons for proposing space mining was concern for Earth’s environment. And you want to put a catapult on top of Kilimanjaro!
edit on 12/8/11 by Astyanax because: :shk:

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 11:43 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

I never said I wanted to put the end of the catapult on Mount Kilimanjaro, only that it would be one of the more logical places. I believe the catapult concept is unnecessary, and I was simply answering Semoro's questions and providing my own insight into the concept.

How is the idea of a controlled landing of rocks to Earth insane? I'm sorry to be condemnatory as well, but it's backwards thinking like this that will forever doom mankind to this rock we call home.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 12:23 AM
All you need is a space anchor and a vertical pipe that has an elevator in it. It is a vacuum principle with blow of valves for pressure release. Pretty simple really.

Nuclear power in space would be 1 million times more efficient.

I am still drawing up the final part which is the space anchor. Still working out if it needs unidirectional thrusters or not.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 02:02 AM
Ofcourse this would be a crude start, but what hasn't been? I mean look at computers, they used to take up an entire room, now you can create tiny little chips which are worth over 100 of these old computers in processing power. Obviously after the first few loads have landed, a more suitable site would be discovered. It would not be an eyesore either, it would have to be very cleverly designed and who knows, with the right technology is there anything saying there couldn't be an island atoll dedicated to this with a controlled area for landings or 'deliveries'

I can totally understand your fears with this program and obviously to make sure that they are addressed, a suitable area would be surveyed and chosen.

Another idea was the amount of asteroids there are on the moon, there must be deposits. A friend bounced theories with me and i now see the point in mining the moon to an extent. Here could be a plan;

For this plan, we have already found a good location for the mining to take place.

Firstly a smallish railgun would launch a capsule into space towards a larger railgun powered by a thorium reactor. The capsule would be collected by some sort of probe, what type? Not sure, another thing to be debated. Then after loading another shielding onto the capsule, it would be sent to a corresponding platform on the light side of the moon.

As the capsule slows as it finally reaches the platform, again it would be retrieved, or maybe even power itself. Again something to be debated on. It could drop off more shieldings to the station if required, anything required could be transported. After unloading (If required) the capsule would be loaded with the retrieved ores from the lunar station before again being launched back via Railgun.

Finally as it is collected and stored on the station until the surface is ready for delivery, so prime weather conditions etc. Or quite simply, the ore transported to a lander of sorts.

Things can be changed such as the landers between the earth and the moon, its all up for debate. It's the best one i've had so far. The moon is local and the station could be used by governments and research firms alike. The station could receive funding via Governments if they needed probes placing, core samples etc. Totally open.

Please add to it if you can. It's only the starting phase as the moon is a constant body and closer providing an easier way to communicate.

Thank you all for posting on this thread, helps alot

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 06:11 AM
reply to post by cmdrkeenkid

How is the idea of a controlled landing of rocks to Earth insane?

It is insane because human beings and their devices are not and will never be infallible. As Arthur C. Clarke observed in Profiles of the Future, aircraft will always crash. The same is true of spacecraft, mountains with thrusters attached to them included. When something like that crashes you will end up with a disaster equivalent to a thermonuclear strike.

And even when all goes to plan, do you think the environmental impact (literally!) of a constant stream of boiling-hot rocks falling into the ocean is going to be negligible?

I'm sorry to be condemnatory as well, but it's backwards thinking like this that will forever doom mankind to this rock we call home.

Don’t be sorry. I don’t take offence except at personal insults deliberately calculated to offend, and sometimes not even then. You are always reasoned and courteous, no matter how we disagree.

Perhaps I have become what you would term a backward thinker. I used to be like you once, but my enthusiasm for the high frontier grew more nuanced as I grew older and came to know more of the world.

For instance, I am convinced that no environment we find or create in space can ever be as ideally suited to the human body and mind – and thus as valuable – as Earth itself. We must not despoil what we have in reaching for what we want.

Also, I do not want the rise of spacefaring humankind to be marked by a trail of pillage and ruin.

Given these – I am sure you will concede – very understandable reservations, I am very much with you.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 08:27 AM

dicing the body up and dropping it to Earth. The only reason we don't have the tools to do this today is because no one has attempted to do this yet. Give a group of engineers a few million dollars and a couple months and you'll surely have your tools.

So you go out there with what, a huge butter knife to carve up an asteroid, and give the pieces a bit of a tug towards the moon/earth? Yes I suppose a couple of sticks of dynamite would net you some fragments. Realistically you will need to haul heavy equipment or heavy bombs and find some way of directing debris already traveling about 60,000 mph where the asteroid's orbit dictates them to continue on with their inertial orbit. Or will you scoop the debris up with a big fishing net?

Lunar escape velocity is 2.4 km/s, and that's at the surface. Having the asteroid placed into a Lunar orbit negates the problem of landing the body on the Moon for the process of being broken apart while also requiring less energy to have it sent down to Earth.

I love all the stories that we just 'effortlessly' redirect a huge mass traveling at a very high speed with astronomical inertia to where ever we want it to go with little toys that fit or in tow behind or in what we are able to launch off of the planet. See how ridiculous that is? I believe you also underestimate the energy involved in achieving lunar orbit unless you want to travel years back to the moon at a relatively slow pace, like 2% the speed the asteroid is already traveling, probably not in the direction you wish, so quadruple that energy to redirect your debris or laughingly, the whole asteroid LOL!

One would think that the amount of energy required to test these cockamamy ideas would be of better use back on earth to begin with, instead of throwing it all out into space so you can be taught physics.

If you continue to disregard the greatest energy source in the solar system to provide any energy for you to harness and process to directed use, (THE SUN!), you are destined to fail.

Bruce Willis stared in a MOVIE, IT'S NOT REAL! It's not realistic either.

edit on 13-8-2011 by Illustronic because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 11:21 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

I agree. Planes will crash, Ships will sink. Rockets will explode.

Again, I am not advocating for the use of an electromagnetic catapult. I was only answering Semoro's questions about them. In my ideas, chemical rockets are all that is necessary. I hope humanity never bothers with building a catapult or a space elevator.

Secondly, in my list of potential landing sites which are on water? Here is what I said in this post

There are several potential landing sites, including the Australian Outback, Russian Siberia, China’s Gobi Desert, the African Sahara, North America’s Sonoran Desert and even land in the Arctic and Antarctic could be utilized.

All land targets. No need to worry about the "boiling hot" masses falling. As I said before, these rocks would have heat ablative materials attached to assist with atmospheric reentry and would be further slowed through use of retrorockets and parachutes. It would be a relatively soft landing, with minimal cratering.

I am glad we can agree to disagree on things. We both think we're right, and I think we're both stubborn enough to not give up. I enjoy a good debate, and if you convince me that I'm wrong I will graciously change my ideas. I truly understand your worries with humans in space, and am in complete agreement with you in that humanity will never be able to find or create as cozy of a place as this planet.

reply to post by Illustronic

The rocks need not be carved up with heavy equipment or high explosives. Do I know what we could use? No, I can't say that I do. The main reason that we don't have the technology to do this adequately is because we haven't needed it yet. I do believe we have the technology to create what we would need though, and not using any far fetched, science fiction type methods. As I said before, give a group of engineers a goal and enough money and they'll come up with what you need.

NASA has moved a mass of nearly 50,000 kg to Lunar Orbit and brought a good portion of that back several times. That's the weight of the entire Apollo capsule (Command, Service and Lunar modules). If we did it more than thirty years ago, we can surely do it today.

In my previous posts no where did I say it would be a quick move. No where did I use the word "effortlessly" or claim that this was an easy job to do. Quite the contrary. It would be a long, involved process and be incredibly dangerous.

And it was a damned entertaining movie, if horribly unscientific.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 02:00 PM
A space elevator could be built from the surface of Mars to the asteroid belt. The minerals could be transported directly to the planet.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 02:17 PM
Put a few really big rocks in a large orbit around the earth and start digging away. Send a fleet of shuttles or whatever transport they can come up with, capable of large payloads to pick up the metals as they are refined in earths orbit. You could build a refinery on the asteroids themselves so that there is no pollution entering earths atmosphere.and then ship the finished product back to earth. However, you would need to come up with a lot of new technology for much safer space flight and re-entry first.

It sounds perfectly reasonable and possibly do-able and very fantastic!

You could even hook up a few rockets to the asteroids to change orbits and create fail safes so that they do not somehow enter earths atmosphere and when done, throw them at the sun.

The amount of science that could be gained from something like this is huge.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 02:25 PM
reply to post by cmdrkeenkid

I appreciate your candor. I appreciate your attempts of out of the box thinking too, no really. I would however appreciate more actual physics involved in your scenarios, and not just wave the hand and say we aren't there yet.

If the sun isn't involved in any energy source you are seriously misinterpreting the amount of inertia the bodies in space have. I mean any cockamamy theory short of harnessing the sun's energy (somehow in some way) to direct to the amount of energy required to move bodies in space that are actually guided by the sun's gravity, is ludicrous. If we have that kind of power on earth why would we need to get it from rocks in orbit? I don't think those rocks in orbit are anything special, if they were, they'd be smarter than us.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by famalhut

The problem with a space elevator on mars is that it's already a pain in the ass to get to the red planet as it is. Building an entire elevator would be so much harder, that is why we are currently looking at Near Earth asteroids or the deposits left by asteroids on the moon. However a space elevator on mars would be more than a good idea once proper technology is procured and created, yet one has to think how would we stabilise such a tall structure?

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 05:24 PM
reply to post by Darkblade71

I think the psychological effects of having several large asteroids in orbit would be quite negative on the most part. Whilst some would support the idea, many would veto and vote against it adding more to the time period and the legal battles. Maybe if it was in Geostationary orbit it could also be easier to keep in constant contact with the asteroid and mining bots. However I do agree with the amount of technology able to be created from this plan. I do believe we would see the beginning of an era, as far fetched as that sounds.

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 08:06 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find mass estimates for any of asteroids save the largest ones. I was hoping to find more information about 4660 Nereus, since that would be an outstanding, logical first choice to attempt something of this magnitude with. Without a mass estimate, I don't believe I could figure out just how much energy would be involved with moving it.

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 06:25 AM
reply to post by cmdrkeenkid

This may be of some help;

March 23, 1989, when an asteroid 0.25-mile (0.4-kilometer) wide came within 400,000 miles (640,000 kilometers) of Earth. Surprised scientists estimated that the Earth and the asteroid -- weighing 50 million tons and traveling at 46,000 miles/hour (74,000 kilometers/hour) -- had passed the same point in space just six hours apart.

Apparently my previous speed estimate was quite a bit off, by 14,000 mph, I was merely subtracting some speed from earth's orbital speed of about 66,600 mph, and clearly not enough.

Asteroid Ida, images up close by Galileo space probe may be a bit larger asteroid than you have in mind to mine. 58 x 23 kilometers (or 36 x 14 mi), mass of 420,000,000,000,000,000 kg. (what comes after trillion?). I'd say stick to the quarter mile sized asteroid variety, with a mass of a mere one trillion pounds.

More on Ida and Gaspra.

Ah yes, quadrillion comes after trillion, like they kind of cubed it.
edit on 14-8-2011 by Illustronic because: (no reason given)

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