Asteroid Mining: Fighting Your Future



Asteroid mining out of the world has become a topic that has not only become very serious in recent life, but we have only been familiar with science fiction ever since it first appeared in the literature

It has been 117 years since the novel "Edison's Conquest of Mars" written by Garret P. Serviss in 1898 adorned dreams with an asteroid entirely pure gold. Although we have not yet found an asteroid that is completely pure gold today, there is no doubt that there are more raw materials in the asteroids than we have ever seen on Earth. These are also abundant in gold and platinum.

Mines that nourish today's modern industry, make building blocks of every technology we use in everyday life, enable our computers and phones to work; gold, silver, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, iron, nickel, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium, tungsten and rare earth elements. After all, it came down with meteorites from my Earth, which was cooling down. This is because gravity, which is concentrated in the center when the Earth is formed, causes the heavy elements to collapse centrally. This led to the fact that the shell layer we could work today was deprived of such valuable elements.

Let's get to know some of the asteroids:

These rocks, which have survived the formation of the Solar System, are a mirror of the past. Since the formation of the Solar System, they remain untouched, transforming them into wonderful scientific treasures that shed light on the past. Their content not only extends our range, but also transforms them into potential minerals that we can use as raw materials in the future. Asteroids are scattered in many different regions in the Solar System, some of which are:

Asteroid band contains much of the known asteroids. It is estimated that the number of objects with sizes greater than 1 kilometer is between 1.1 and 1.9 million.

Trojans (Trojans) share the orbits of planets and satellites in the regions of stability Lagrangian 4 and 5. These regions are located in the same orbit 60 degrees ahead and / or behind the planet's position.

Earth-near asteroids (Near Earth asteroids – NEAs) are those that have intersecting or near-orbit with the earth. We follow about 12,000, 90% of those whose dimensions are over a kilometer are thought to have been discovered.

While there are many different types of asteroids, there are basically three main types of C-type, S-type and M-type rocks

C-type asteroids, are the most abundant and constitute 75% of all asteroids. They are rich in minerals containing carbon and water. It also contains the basic components which can be used for organic carbon, phosphorus and fertilizing in very large quantities.

S-type asteroids, have rocky structures mainly containing iron and magnesium silicates. They also contain nickel, cobalt, gold, platinum, rhodium.

M-type asteroids, are rare rocks, but contain 10 times more metal than the S-type

Why Asteroids?
It is natural to think what the world needs when it offers us so much wealth and still can not solve our problems here. But what we miss from the eye is the increasing difficulty of extracting the mines that enable the process of civilization. While accessibility is scarce, mining is becoming an increasingly risky and demanding area of ​​investment. We hear very often that the news of the massacre of environmental beauties due to mining is a fact. As the demand for raw materials increases, the rich natural habitats for easy accessible mines are targeted.

In the asteroids, these raw materials have remained untouched since the first formation of the Solar System. If we take a few examples; There is more gold and platinum in the world than in the world, according to estimates, in the asteroid of 433 Eros in the mass of 79.2 trillion tons, 33 kilometers long and 13 kilometers wide. This estimate is quite accurate, as it is known that the amount of gold produced during the history of mankind is about 174,000 tons in 2012 and that platinum is much less than that. Moreover, the raw materials such as magnesium, aluminum, silicon, potassium and iron, which are still found in Eros, will be abundant enough to upset the world economy.

Another example; 16 Psyche asteroids are estimated to have nickel-iron that will last thousands of years for Earth's needs.

Even a metallic asteroid of only 1 km in diameter is expressed in trillions of dollars today as raw material and again only 10 meters in size is an S-type asteroid, containing about 650,000 kilograms of metal, which forms 50 kilograms of gold and platinum-like rare metals .

While investors increasingly find it difficult to produce and process precious raw materials every day, this is also the reason why they slowly start to look at these rocks in the sky and see them as a fortune.

How will it work for us?
Today, when you can find a 100 million dollar cost of throwing a Soyuz spacecraft for 3 people, how and when will it be economical to mine in space with more expensive vehicles and bring it to the world? Not yet! The situation is still far from profitable for investors, but the situation will change over the next few decades.

For these raw materials to be brought to the Earth, firstly the infrastructure for practical and efficient access to the Earth's orbit must be established. The most logical method for this would be short-term space vehicles and space planes. For example, Skylon the ESA has developed since 1982. it is thought that the first flight could be carried out in 2019 as an unmanned spacecraft with 15 tonnes of capacity, which can be traversed in one step. They are trying to produce reusable technologies as they generate revenue in companies such as Orbital Sciences and SpaceX that provide supplies to the International Space Station. The development of such projects will transform space into a more accessible place. In the long run, a space elevator to make space a part of our lives, the economy and the industry will probably be true in the lives of our grandparents.

Let's say we were good. We have brought a large asteroid full of sources to Earth, what will the results be? Certainly, the economy that we are accustomed to is going to change. For example, an anda losing gold and platinum as plentiful iron will be found in an almost limitless amount for every space needed. And whichever country or company invests in this business will get much higher revenues from any economic power in the world and overthrow the balances.

Asteroids can be exploited in some other way than by injecting them into the world economy. Space mines and ice; it provides the opportunity to manufacture in space, repair and refuel. In particular, they can ensure that reconnaissance missions to Mars and beyond can come to much lower wages and become practical.

Production in space:
To send a space shuttle into orbit around the world, or to send an Apollo spacecraft to the top of the Saturn V rocket, the engineering boundaries must work very hard. Today, for the first time, SLS (Space Launch System) a more powerful rocket from Saturn V, is in the development and production phase. This rocket will be able to launch mission modules for the Moon, Asteroids, or Mars into the high earth orbit of the Orion capsule. Launched modules will be combined in space to complete the ships. But when we aim for far more and bigger things, we have to make our vessel in the Earth orbit like a space station, and the fuel in the Asteroids is much more sensible than throwing rockets for this job, producing liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Moreover, it is the only way to use the asteroids and satellites as supply points for the discovery of outer planets and the possible colonization of their satellites.

The asteroid to be brought to the Earth's orbit is the most attractive, and certainly the scientific, scientific data it contains, will provide insight into the formation of the Solar System and enable space and fuel production in space with the content we will explore in relation to astrobiology. In the first years of such an initiative, maintenance, repair and fueling of vehicles from the Moon or Mars journey will take place in space without the need to launch rockets from the Earth independently. In the far future, the raw material from the asteroids will open the way to a space shipyard producing ship-to-ship from scratch, and a separate space industry in its own right.

For now, if we come to the future with suspicion and come to our present day examples; The three-dimensional printer sent to the International Space Station is already producing spare parts and tools to reduce the need for supplies on our planet. The UUI team is now able to "print" what they need, rather than wait for commercial supply jobs, which are months between launches for a basic tool or spare part, to tell them how much they promise in a new three-dimensional printer to be sent by UAI to the UUI in June 2015 .

Indeed, it is now possible to find extreme examples of three-dimensional printer technology everywhere. Three-dimensional printers will take their place in the space as a very comprehensive technology that can make car and airplane parts, food, organs and even medicine in the near future.

The Philae probe, which was put on an asteroid by Rosetta spacecraft over the last few months, was actually one of the most important steps taken for asteroid mining.

Who are the investors in the asteroids?

NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts (NASA Institue for Advanced Concepts – NIAC) Created a project called "Robotic Asteroid Procpector". This project, launched in September 2012, provides information on practical ways of asteroid mining, technologies required, tasks and vehicle designs, while letting NASEN in 2025 invest 5/1 of its budget to see how this investment will return in the coming years It predicts. Since this will be a separate writing topic for now, we are only able to give you the link to your work .

Kepler Energy Space Engineering (Kepler Energy Space Engineering LCC) is a company that plans to bring a few tonnes of mine to the world by sending small drill-drilled robots to small asteroids in ten years

Deep Space Industries They plan to send an asteroid to the Sea of ​​Stars named DragonFly which will be launched in 2016, to bring back 150 kilograms of material.

The most interesting of these initiatives is the company called Planetary Resources (19459010). Directed by James Cameron, Larry Page and invested by Eric Schmidt the company is struggling to get the biggest share from the cake. Among the plans are to build a fuel tank in the 2020's and build a fuel tank from the asteroids to separate liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen into rocket fuel and supply it to commercial satellites and space vehicles. Unfortunately, the first test taker Arkyd 3 was in the Antares rocket exploding during the launch on 28 October 2014.

Meanwhile, a little detail about James Cameron; Avatar In the story of Filminin, the owner of the star ship, which provides access to Pandora, has reached the RDA company by exploiting the resources of the solar system, the economical power to do such a ship.

You see, these are the times when you crawl a new industry beyond the sky, and at the same time it is still an area where science fiction can be accepted. While the line between science fiction and everyday life is becoming more and more fascinating every day, we believe we will all see together whether or not the asteroid mining will remain a fiction or a part of life.

*, "Asteroid Mining: Fighting Your Future",


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