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Submission + - NASA Funds Projects for Asteroid-Capture Plan ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: NASA has announced funding for 18 different projects aimed at developing an asteroid retrieval mission. "The agency is working on two concepts for the mission. The first concept would fully capture a very small asteroid in free space and the other would retrieve a boulder off of a much larger asteroid. Both concepts would redirect an asteroid mass less than 10 meters in size to orbit the moon. Astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft launched on the Space Launch System (SLS) would rendezvous with the captured asteroid mass in lunar orbit and collect samples for return to Earth." Astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope have also identified and measured the size of a candidate near-earth asteroid. It measures roughly six meters in diameter, and seems to be held together lightly, possible as a "pile of rubble."
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NASA Funds Projects for Asteroid-Capture Plan

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  • I think that the near Earth asteroid capture "entrepreneurship" can be a viable way of expanding the mineral supply market (and, obviously, the space marketing and humanity expansion to another orbs), but one calculation wrong and we can be doomed. This is an ultra-risk market (in a environmental way). And what about economy? Think about in this hypothetical scenario: a company finds many asteroids with one (or more) of the 8 most expensive elements in your periodic table: Au, Ag, Pt, Pd, Ir, Rh, Os and Ru
  • I think this can be a huge problem if in wrong hands. The FIRST CASE SCENARIO is about miscalculation: capturing near Earth Asteroid is a complex challenge. One thing wrong and you could bombard Earth and cause serious problems (and billions of victims). The SECOND CASE SCENARIO is hypothetical: what about finding a lot of tons of one or more of the 8 most expensive elements in the periodic table: Au, Ag, Pt, Pd, Ir, Rh, Os and Ru (or the worst case scenario: only Au and Pt) in the captured asteroids. And

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos