Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Apr 2012 08:51 UTC
In the News "A newly unveiled company with some high-profile backers - including filmmaker James Cameron and Google co-founder Larry Page - is set to announce plans to mine near-Earth asteroids for resources such as precious metals and water." Amazingly cool. Even if it never makes a dime of money, at least these people are contributing to space exploration now that the US has pretty much cut NASA to death. Come to think of it, it's pretty sad we've been relying on a single government for much of our space exploration.
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ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

It's a little late for this year's April fools joke, isn't it. I groan every time I hear this "let's mine the moon and/or asteroids".

Mining the moon might be just barely feasible if we ever get fusion to work. Unless that happens, there just isn't anything on the moon that isn't more abundant (and infinitely more accessible) on Earth. The cost of mining anything on the moon will be ridiculously high, and the enormous amount of energy resources needed to establish and operate a mining colony on the moon makes it prohibitive unless the moon can produce energy in abundance.

In other words, build a functioning fusion reactor first. No one has yet been able to do so despite decades of trying. I expect to grow old and die before it happens. If/when controlled fusion is proven feasible, then it might be worth reconsidering moon mining.

But mining asteroids is even more farfetched. Unlike the moon they do not stay in a nice neat orbit around the earth. Rather, they hurl through space at high speed - if anyone thinks NASA can chase one down with the space shuttle and snag it like a cowboy ropes a cow has been watching too many Star Wars movies.

Edited 2012-04-24 21:47 UTC

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