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Great New Space Mining Book! June 3, 2015

Posted by Mark Flavin in General, Space Policy, Space Ventures.
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New Space Mining Book

New Space Mining Book

Now I wish I would have paid more attention in chemistry & geology class. This new book by Dr. John Lewis is amazing. Most “popular” non-fiction is written by English majors who research a topic and never do it justice. Asteroid Mining 101 is so refreshing because it is written by someone who knows what he is talking about. Dr. Lewis has long been involved in concepts for tapping the riches of space.  With an academic background in space science and cosmochemistry (I had no idea that field even existed) he is eminently qualified to author a book on asteroid mining.

What I like about this book is that he clearly identifies the candidate asteroids by orbit, makeup and frequency they pass close to earth. This is a real science based book that is thorough and rigorous in the analysis of the subject. It covers the fascinating use of meteorites that have landed in various places and time on earth in categorizing the potential enormous wealth available for any particular type of asteroid since meteors are just chips off of asteroids.

Asteroid Mining 101 is true to its title with generous coverage of the actual mining process, what we can expect for mineral extraction, how it could be done and how it would be delivered for use back on earth. Overall this is a fascinating, if not technical, look at the practical aspects on mining asteroids in Near Earth Orbit (NEA). It is of interest that Dr. Lewis is Chief Scientist at Deep Space Industries, a real life space mining company, so he is not just a dreamer professor with nothing practical to bring to the table. I hope you enjoy a glimpse of a possible future for space that has tremendous implications back here on earth.

I’m Back + Planetary Resources May 8, 2015

Posted by Mark Flavin in General, Space Ventures, Technology.
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ARKYD Spacecraft

ARKYD 3 Spacecraft Photo Credit: Planetary Resources

 

I took a long hiatus from my blog but I am back. Being distracted by running a business has kept me from what I love, space, but no longer! I will again begin to add content to share with other space enthusiasts.

Speaking of space Planetary Resources is very close to releasing there first prospecting telescope called Arkyd 3 from the ISS in July of this year. The instrument was lofted into orbit aboard the most resent SpaceX Dragon launch to the ISS. The mission of the Arkyd 3 is a technology demonstrator to proof the spacecraft and systems necessary to orbit other craft with the ultimate mission of identifying near earth objects (NEO) suitable for capture and mining.

Planetary Resources has a very ambitious goal of ultimately mining asteroids. They are taking a very measured approach to this by first identifying a list of candidate asteroids within reasonable range of earth. Once the database of objects is complete they will go to the next phase of mission planning along with their partners to begin actual mining. Their partners are heavyweights like Larry Page (Google), Eric Schmidt. (Google), Sir Richard Branson (Virgin everything), Ross Perot Jr. and a bunch of others that have the resources to move the venture from proof of concept to reality.

Keep you eye on this company. They have the potential to not just talk space but do space in a big way. It is what we have needed for a long, long time; entrepreneurs with vision that can literally reach for the stars.

Asteroid mining has arrived! April 24, 2012

Posted by Mark Flavin in Space Ventures.
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Image credit: Planetary Resources

This is the most exciting space news in decades! Start-up firm Planetary Resources announce today that is was establishing a business to mine asteroids in space. They are backed by a powerful collection of thinkers and billionaires to pull it off including Larry Page (Google founder), Dr. Eric Schmidt,  Ross Perot Jr. , Dr.Charles Simonyi and James Cameron are among those participating in the venture.

Their first effort will be to orbit a telescope capable of  detecting candidate  asteroids which are close to Earth  for mining.  Once identified they ” …plan to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals.”  What a milestone this is in placing the future of space exploration and utilization into the hands of practical people, not NASA scientists bent on finding microbial life under some rock.

A great deal of work is yet to be done but this is clearly some of the best news imaginable regarding the opening up space beyond government contrived waste & folly.