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Space Businesses

Mining the Heavens: In Conversation With Planetary Resources' Chief Engineer 80

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dream-big-or-go-home dept.
cylonlover writes "It wasn't long ago that asteroid mining was only found in the pages of science fiction. Now, with increasing interest in the commercial exploitation of space, companies are springing up to turn asteroids from things that Bruce Willis blows up into raw materials for future travellers and colonists. One such firm is Planetary Resources, which is currently winding up a Kick Starter campaign aimed at raising public awareness about asteroid mining by offering the public access to a space telescope. Gizmag visits the company's Bellevue, Washington headquarters and talks to the President and Chief Engineer, Chris Lewicki." Long, but worth the time.
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Mining the Heavens: In Conversation With Planetary Resources' Chief Engineer

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  • so still scifi then? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @02:16AM (#44098593)

    "It wasn't long ago that asteroid mining was only found in the pages of science fiction. Now [...] a Kick Starter campaign aimed at raising public awareness about asteroid mining..."

    A Kickstarter campaign to raise money to raise awareness still seems like a few steps from mining asteroids...

    Also their business model seems somewhat speculative. One of the main ideas seems to be that they can get around the return-it-to-earth problem by not returning it to earth. What good will the mining do then, you ask? Well, they'll just sell the resources to the Mars colony:

    Space habitats, space stations are going to need hundreds of thousands or millions of liters of water, but there are some asteroids 75 meters across that are water rich. Just one has enough hydrogen and oxygen to fuel every Space Shuttle that’s ever been launched. It’s useful for fuel, its useful for supporting life and it’s full-blown radiation shielding for all those people talking about going to Mars. So, that is a resource that is of near-term interest.

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