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Old January 22 2013, 09:57 PM   #1
RAMA
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2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

http://www.popsci.com/science/articl...ace-rocks-2015

Also, as I've suggested before in this forum, it will make use of 3D printing to replicate new robots.

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Old January 23 2013, 12:32 AM   #2
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

RAMA wrote: View Post

Also, as I've suggested before in this forum, it will make use of 3D printing to NOT replicate new robots.

RAMA
You REALLY need to start reading the articles you link. Or at least comprehending them.

Besides, they have the usual problem that half of these companies have - No bucks, no Buck Rodgers.
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Old January 25 2013, 01:50 AM   #3
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

sojourner wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post

Also, as I've suggested before in this forum, it will make use of 3D printing to NOT replicate new robots.

RAMA
You REALLY need to start reading the articles you link. Or at least comprehending them.

Besides, they have the usual problem that half of these companies have - No bucks, no Buck Rodgers.

Eventually, the goal is to feed the company’s “MicroGravity Foundry,” a new type of 3-D printer that uses nickel-charged gas to print with metal in space. The company claims the metal components would be stronger than those made with traditional sintering methods, which would use low-melting point metals. Ultimately, the foundry would supply a deep-space factory making a wide range of parts, according to the company. It could print new parts for Mars missions, components for new outposts that would replace communications satellites, and even space stations that can beam power back to Earth. Like other asteroid-mining hopefuls, the company says asteroids could also become fuel sources for satellites.
The foundries will need to produce robot spacecraft to create the outposts, mars missions, etc. They're not doing all that with Earth launches. This is pretty clear.

PRI has lots of backers, I don't see competition as anything but positive, and backers are easier to find than ever for DSI.

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Old January 25 2013, 03:02 AM   #4
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

RAMA wrote: View Post

Eventually, the goal is to feed the company’s “MicroGravity Foundry,” a new type of 3-D printer that uses nickel-charged gas to print with metal in space. The company claims the metal components would be stronger than those made with traditional sintering methods, which would use low-melting point metals. Ultimately, the foundry would supply a deep-space factory making a wide range of parts, according to the company. It could print new parts for Mars missions, components for new outposts that would replace communications satellites, and even space stations that can beam power back to Earth. Like other asteroid-mining hopefuls, the company says asteroids could also become fuel sources for satellites.
The foundries will need to produce robot spacecraft to create the outposts, mars missions, etc. They're not doing all that with Earth launches. This is pretty clear.

PRI has lots of backers, I don't see competition as anything but positive, and backers are easier to find than ever for DSI.

RAMA
You don't have a clue what goes into a "robot" do you? The technology involved in producing circuit boards? Processors? You don't build those items in foundries. There is a long industrial process involved in going from what's produced in a foundry to a finished product like a robot. DSI won't be building anything like that for a very. long. time. IF. IF they get funding and IF things work out, they will be making simple machine tooled parts and printed parts. Eventually. Someday. Not soon. But still much sooner than they will ever produce robots.
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Old January 26 2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

sojourner wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post

Eventually, the goal is to feed the company’s “MicroGravity Foundry,” a new type of 3-D printer that uses nickel-charged gas to print with metal in space. The company claims the metal components would be stronger than those made with traditional sintering methods, which would use low-melting point metals. Ultimately, the foundry would supply a deep-space factory making a wide range of parts, according to the company. It could print new parts for Mars missions, components for new outposts that would replace communications satellites, and even space stations that can beam power back to Earth. Like other asteroid-mining hopefuls, the company says asteroids could also become fuel sources for satellites.
The foundries will need to produce robot spacecraft to create the outposts, mars missions, etc. They're not doing all that with Earth launches. This is pretty clear.

PRI has lots of backers, I don't see competition as anything but positive, and backers are easier to find than ever for DSI.

RAMA
You don't have a clue what goes into a "robot" do you? The technology involved in producing circuit boards? Processors? You don't build those items in foundries. There is a long industrial process involved in going from what's produced in a foundry to a finished product like a robot. DSI won't be building anything like that for a very. long. time. IF. IF they get funding and IF things work out, they will be making simple machine tooled parts and printed parts. Eventually. Someday. Not soon. But still much sooner than they will ever produce robots.

This would assume I said they would produce ALL the parts in the foundries, which I certainly did not.

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Old January 26 2013, 09:09 PM   #6
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

Actually, it doesn't. It will still be a long, long time before they can produce even half of the range of parts needed and assemble them.
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Old January 27 2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

The pieces the described foundry cannot produce have a far smaller mass AKA they can be relatively cheaply transported out of earth's gravity well.
Also - the foundry, as described, can produce high strength materials, which, combined with its flexibility, is revolutionary for manufacturing industry on Earth, as well.

If the cost of access to LEO drops down sufficiently (and it is in the process of dropping) than asteroid mining is in the cards for the immediate future.

PS
"Actually, it doesn't. It will still be a long, long time before they can produce even half of the range of parts needed and assemble them."
The only real information conveyed in your posts is that you're disillusioned with how the Apollo age failed in everything but 'flags and footprints' missions - and want everyone else to fell equally cynical.
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Old January 27 2013, 08:01 AM   #8
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

^Not even close. What you're reading is the experience of someone who has seen how long it takes for these technologies to come to fruition. Apollo was actually a pretty great achievement and did exactly what it was intended to do.

Back to the topic:

The foundries don't exist yet. It's hard to say what they can do, but much easier to say what they can't - since they don't exist. And once it makes those parts, you need an assembly line to create the finished product. Which is more infrastructure that has to be put in place. You're basically building an entire industrial base from scratch. It can and will be done, but not cheaply and not soon.
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Old January 27 2013, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

Has anybody bothered to ask what would mining these asteroids do to their flightpaths?
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Old January 27 2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

sojourner wrote: View Post
The foundries don't exist yet. It's hard to say what they can do, but much easier to say what they can't - since they don't exist.
Except they - the technology - does exist: the MicroGravity Foundry is a patent pending technology:
http://www.3ders.org/articles/201301...y-foundry.html

And once it makes those parts, you need an assembly line to create the finished product. Which is more infrastructure that has to be put in place. You're basically building an entire industrial base from scratch. It can and will be done, but not cheaply and not soon.
Not really. A human could assemble the finished product in 0g. It would be slower than an assembly line - but you don't need to build Rome in a day.
And if you DO want to build Rome in a day - you will first manufacture the assembly line (assembled by humans) and use it to quickly manufacture the needed products.

^Not even close. What you're reading is the experience of someone who has seen how long it takes for these technologies to come to fruition. Apollo was actually a pretty great achievement and did exactly what it was intended to do.
I've met persons with similar (anger/disappointment/acceptance) outlook vs Apollo:
Some are openly buthurt about the lack of space progress since then;
Some like to think of themselves as wise sages, understanding the difficulties of space development. They come up with what are many times useful criticisms, but they inevitably overreach - 'inventing' problems while obstinately choosing to overlook their obvious solutions;
Some come up with elaborate explanations for why Apollo was, ultimately, a failure - from 'its purpose was flags and footprints from the beginning' to collective psychology/human nature whys.

It's quite probable that, if I look into your posting history, I will find posts along the lines of ~we surround ourselves with past glory (Apollo) in order to look away from the decayed present, like any past, decayed civilization.

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
Has anybody bothered to ask what would mining these asteroids do to their flightpaths?
Due to mining? No effect.
It's called action and reaction; elementary physics.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; January 27 2013 at 10:05 AM.
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Old January 27 2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
It's quite probable that, if I look into your posting history, I will find posts along the lines of ~we surround ourselves with past glory (Apollo) in order to look away from the decayed present, like any past, decayed civilization.
No, you won't. You'll find I'm the SpaceX fanboy and think Nuspace companies are going to do great things that NASA should have done if it weren't bogged down trying to be a jobs program for congress. I just also happen not to be naive enough to believe the timelines that these nuspace companies present. Even the ones that are doing amazingly well haven't made a lot of their stated goals. When was Falcon 9 supposed to fly originally? How many flights did Spacex say Falcon 9 will make last year? How many years is Spaceship 2 overdue? The other problem is that for every nuspace company that has succeeded there are many more that failed. Remember Kistler? Beal? Roton? Artemis Project?


Space is still hard. Some companies will make it. A lot won't. While the industry is increasing in pace, we're not getting to Mars in the next ten years. Mining asteroids by then? A good chance. Building finished products from asteroid factories? doubtful. I hope and think that by the mid 2020's our presence in space will start to resemble the movie 2001. The next seven to ten years will tell the tale on that though.
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Old January 27 2013, 10:58 PM   #12
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

The Keck asteroid retrieval concept looks rather professional
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=18142

Here was an interesting piece from a JPL worker. He and I disagree on a lot, but he is spot on here:

It's an inescapable reality that getting to and from that asteroid will take a large spacecraft.

I look at this new company animation, and it doesn't add up. Those tiny spacecraft simply can not contain the energy to get to and from those targets via chemical prop. Are they ion engined....then where's the power to drive it, those solar arrays are far too small. They lack high gain antennae, so from 10's / 100's of millions of miles away, how are we communicating with them. Where's their spectrometers to characterize the objects of interest.


Could you do a smaller mission than OSIRIS-REX. Yes. But certainly not as small as this company claim. And smaller means less capable. We would not learn as much about the asteroid as we will with OSIRIS-REX.


Start with a payload....work backwards to the spacecraft from there. OSIRIS-REX isn't big just for fun. It's big because it's very capable and will do far far far more than a smaller spacecraft could ever achieve.


Smaller isn't always better.





http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/141392-Another-asteroid-minig-company!?p=2101103#post2101103
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Old January 28 2013, 01:07 AM   #13
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

There's a reason companies can do more, more quickly, with greater price performance...as stated in the article, DSI knows a lot of this stuff wasn't even possible a few years ago.

Luanched material unable to be produced in space plus contruction materials equals eventual habitats, machines, and even robots. Its not on the agenda right away, but its all obvious where it leads to, soujourner is just too narrow visioned to see it as usual.

Even if DSI doesn't get off the ground, its a good sign multiple companies are interested. There's finally some recognition of what I've been saying for years about resources in space. There's no materials shortage in the solar system, there's no resources shortage, no energy shortage..ever, and no water shortages either for that matter. There's no economic limit for the forseeable future. That's all knee jerk fantasy.

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Old January 28 2013, 01:52 AM   #14
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

RAMA wrote: View Post
sojourner is just too narrow visioned to see it as usual.
It's really a poor reflection on you that you read me so badly. I love space, I love technology, I love futurism. I'm just not blind to the realities of these things and how long they take, unlike some. Think of it as hope tempered by experience as opposed to hope blinded by naivete.
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Old February 2 2013, 11:36 AM   #15
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Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

sojourner wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
It's quite probable that, if I look into your posting history, I will find posts along the lines of ~we surround ourselves with past glory (Apollo) in order to look away from the decayed present, like any past, decayed civilization.
No, you won't. You'll find I'm the SpaceX fanboy and think Nuspace companies are going to do great things that NASA should have done if it weren't bogged down trying to be a jobs program for congress.
It was inevitable for NASA to accomplish little.

As Margaret Mead put it:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
The corollary to this is - a species or large fractions of a species, taken as a whole, are always adverse to radical, revolutionary change.

This was verified again and again - from the few bright apes that let their kin behind, evolving to intelligence, to rule the Earth, to the aviation pioneers that built the first planes in pursuit of passion, fame and fortune.
And, as the price to LEO drops enough to make LEO accessible to a few, this will repeat itself.

Since we're talking about future visions - the solar system and, then, the galaxy will NOT be colonized by the majority of mankind. Indeed, 99% of its descendants will remain right here, on Earth, until it rots away. Much like the ~150 humans that left Africa not so long ago, only 1% of humanity will inherit the skies.

I just also happen not to be naive enough to believe the timelines that these nuspace companies present. Even the ones that are doing amazingly well haven't made a lot of their stated goals. When was Falcon 9 supposed to fly originally? How many flights did Spacex say Falcon 9 will make last year? How many years is Spaceship 2 overdue? The other problem is that for every nuspace company that has succeeded there are many more that failed. Remember Kistler? Beal? Roton? Artemis Project?

Space is still hard. Some companies will make it. A lot won't. While the industry is increasing in pace, we're not getting to Mars in the next ten years. Mining asteroids by then? A good chance. Building finished products from asteroid factories? doubtful. I hope and think that by the mid 2020's our presence in space will start to resemble the movie 2001. The next seven to ten years will tell the tale on that though.
A few years more or less - of course, it does matter to us; but not for the overarching trend of history.
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