Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Commercial Space - Military Space
  [Discuss] Planetary Resources: asteroid mining

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   [Discuss] Planetary Resources: asteroid mining
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-18-2012 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: In an effort to keep the topic Planetary Resources to expand Earth's resources focused on status updates, reader's feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss Planetary Resources, Inc. and its plans to overlay space exploration and natural resources.

dabolton
Member

Posts: 215
From: Round Lake, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 04-18-2012 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone have any insight on whether the James Cameron/Google asteroid mining collaboration is legitimate?
We're left to ponder, however, what Planetary Resources will actually do. Technology Review speculates that the project is an asteroid mining operation, reasoning that the other natural resources we need — an Earth-like habitat and supply of fossil fuels — aren't going to be found in space any time soon.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-24-2012 06:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The New York Times was the first to publish its article with details, followed shortly by SPACE.com.
Perhaps it will be a platinum rush that finally opens up the final frontier.

On Tuesday, a new company called Planetary Resources Inc. will unveil its plans to mine asteroids that zip close by Earth, both to provide supplies for future interplanetary travelers and to bring back precious metals like platinum.

The venture may sound far-fetched — perhaps along the lines of Newt Gingrich's campaign promise to colonize the moon — but it has already attracted some big-name investors, including Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google, as well as profitable technology development contracts.

"If you believe that resources in space are critical towards a space-faring future, you will inevitably come to the result that the asteroids — in fact, the near-Earth asteroids — are the steppingstones to the rest of the solar system," Eric C. Anderson, one of the company's co-founders, said in a telephone interview.

arjuna
unregistered
posted 04-24-2012 04:18 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lots of technical hurdles (as well as financial ones), but this is exciting stuff.

I wasn't sure until their announcement, but it seems that this endeavor will be solely robotic in nature (though they said they may collaborate with NASA on future manned asteroid missions). But if they are eventually successful, PR will establish the infrastructure that will enable a fuel depot strategy for human exploration of points beyond. Human spaceflight will become vastly more economic.

Great stuff, though there will obviously be major challenges.

issman1
Member

Posts: 888
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 04-25-2012 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space exploration gives way to exploitation, which is good. But shouldn't the US government have made a similar decree on the behalf of NASA by now?

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-25-2012 01:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Planetary Resources to mine asteroids for humanity, exploration and profit
No, no, no. For profit, exploration and humanity. If they were doing it for humanity they would hand out the minerals for free.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-25-2012 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The economic rationale behind this is "first come, first served"? In other words, who owns the asteroids?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-25-2012 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The legalities are not entirely clear, but that's in part because they haven't been needed to put to test yet.
Does a private company have a right to stake claim to an asteroid, or are celestial bodies such as the moon, planets and asteroids the communal property of all Earthlings?

"The law on this is not settled and not clear," said Henry Hertzfeld, professor of space policy and international affairs at George Washington University. "There are lots of opinions on the status here, and nobody is necessarily right because it's complicated."

The legal ambiguity hasn't needed to be addressed before, Hertzfeld said, because no company has previously come forward with a serious asteroid mining mission plan and the funds to back it.

rasorenson
Member

Posts: 78
From: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 04-25-2012 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rasorenson   Click Here to Email rasorenson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the pursuit of said profit, any time we manipulate mother nature, there are extenuating consequences. Perhaps it is all very straight forward, but one consideration is the physics of orbital mechanics — especially with NEAR EARTH asteroids. What prevents companies from taking what they want — shoving off — and the next time around the changed orbital dynamic brings the asteroid into an earth impact path? If you think the BP oil spill was big — I jump to worst case scenarios.

mikej
Member

Posts: 374
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 04-25-2012 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rasorenson:
What prevents companies from taking what they want — shoving off —  and the next time around the changed orbital dynamic brings the asteroid into an earth impact path?
Well, then they wouldn't have much time spend the profits. Plus, it would seem that they'd be abrogating their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders — hard to maximize shareholder value if they kill their shareholders.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement