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Asteroid Act could unlock billions of dollars in asteroid mining

RATE THIS! +46
Posted in Science on 29th Sep, 2014 12:26 AM by AlexMuller

Companies want to mine asteroids for fuel, and build filling stations in space. A bill in front of Congress would help by allowing them to own what they discover, but it might meet stiff international opposition. it costs nearly $2bn per year to launch enough water to sustain the six astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

 

In addition to providing drinking water, H20 can also be converted into breathable air, and into fuel, liquid hydrogen and oxygen form the most efficient rocket fuel known to man. Currently, spacecraft must carry all the fuel they require, adding significant weight and driving up the cost of getting beyond Earth's gravity. Once in space, expensive equipment may be abandoned because it's too costly to take back to Earth. But, says Lewicki, "Imagine being able to get into space and refuel your spaceship [there]."

 
Asteroids have little gravity, he adds, so landing on and taking off from them does not require too much energy. Their prevalence and proximity to Earth make them valuable potential way stations for refuelling on longer missions into space.

Tags: spaceasteroidasteroid miningspacecraft

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-29
+1
Mining asteroids has been debated for some time. Indeed, being able to make supplies in space could be the key for future more extensive space explorations - but are we ready to invest now?
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-29
+1
We have a good case! All of the transportation needs in space –— from orbit raises to station keeping to Lunar landings or even expeditions to the outer planets –— are near infinitely more achievable when access is fueled by the resources present in near-infinite quantities on asteroids. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-29
+1
Yes, in short, harnessing the resources of space for utilization in space is a far less daunting challenge than we are prone to believe. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-29
+0
Great, what is needed for our growing population is some hope of new resources that can be found and used without harming our planet even further Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-29
+1
Asteroids are attracting investments, they are seen as the low-hanging fruit of the solar system, they are just there and they are not difficult to get
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-29
+1
Gold rush in space- to harness cosmic riches could make, and break, fortunes on Earth. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-29
+0
Companies are investing but also much will to come from government and research institute contracts and from corporate advertising and corporate sponsorship.

Reply
Reply


 

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