Mining of Asteroids: Something or Nothing?

That Science Blog - A Blog. For Science!

So a bunch of bigwig billionaires who seem short of ways to spend mountains of cash have gotten together and announced plans to mine asteroids–you know, huge barren bricks floating along in space. (No, this is not a joke.)

Does this idea make any sense? Setting aside mining for resources, we barely have rock samples from our own moon just 250,000 kilometers away. Generally, the large asteroids in our Solar System are located in a barren region between Mars and Jupiter, many months journey away.

Let’s examine a few problems here (I’ll try keep this math-free, this time):

  • Escaping the Earth’s gravity
  • Fighting the sun’s gravity–Moving away from the sun is like traveling “uphill”
  • Rendezvous and landing on an asteroid
  • Extracting substantial quantities of mineral ore, on an asteroid!
  • Slowing to a gentle reentry with the added mass of the minerals, from which we can recover usable…

View original post 260 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s