Friday, July 08, 2011

US almost ready to asteroid mine

Our country is ahead of the European Union in asteroid mining.

now of roughly 750 S-class asteroids with a diameter of at least 1 kilometer. Many of these pass as near to the Earth as our own moon — close enough to reach via spacecraft. As a typical asteroid is 10 percent metal

The US is already sending lander near asteroids to to experiments as we speak. Within 3 years, Lockheed Martin, Boeing would send space excavators to bring small amounts of asteroid to US. A small metallic asteroid with a diameter of 1.6 km (1 mile) contains more than $9 trillion US dollars worth of industrial and precious metals.

Strip Mining - Material is successively scraped off the surface in a process comparable to strip mining. There is strong evidence that many asteroids consist of rubble piles, making this approach feasible.

Shaft Mining - A mine can be dug into the asteroid, and the material extracted through the shaft. This requires precise knowledge to engineer accuracy of astro-location under the surface regolith and a transportation system to carry the desired ore to the processing facility.

Magnetic Rakes - Asteroids with a high metal content may be covered in loose grains that can be gathered by means of a magnet.

Heating - For volatile materials in extinct comets, heat can be used to melt and vaporize the matrix..

Spacecraft can pull materials and fly it to Earth orbit where it can be flown in smaller amounts.

I don't believe US should worry about effects on China (that's stupid), as they can always buy domestic. It is the United States that needs to profit from something, because we are bankrupted nation with our inflation/spending problems. Republican Pres. and republican congress expansion of the the private sector is the long-time solution.

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