Robots on the asteroid’s surface could collect metal-rich rocks with a magnetic comb. They could then transport the material to a central refining station.
i think they should just nuke it to expose the metals inside for easier access
Lotsa rocks moving around in the local vicinity at high speeds if nuked. Not a good idea.
Totally bad idea to spend millions to nuke an asteroid to create countless extreme high velocity projectiles on countless trajectories, most of which would be fused into denser, harder hunks of rock and metal and which would therefore be uncollectable.
Hopefully, someone, some where, is watching diligently for possible collisions of asteroids with Earth. I like the idea of mining them to use there materials. We also have to be causes about bringing back dangerous contaminates, such as viruses.
If you nuked one you would have a lot of radioactivity to deal with as well.
They tell me, that's why we can't transport our radioactive waste to the sun for insineration. It's to hard to manage.
I think we still need a lot more dada of their make up, before it would be profitable to mine asteroids.
Has NASA consulted with any miners, for their experience and advice?
When I graduated college in 1976, I anticipated to be working and living on the Moon by 1990, 2000 at the latest, so much for my, Pie In The Sky.
If you nuked it there would be tons of high velocity shrapnel as mentioned above, plus anything we would want to use would also be radioactive. My idea: Attach Ion engines to an asteroid, maneuver it into an orbit around the moon, as you extract whatever it is you need from the asteroid you send it to the surface of the moon where larger more permanent and efficient facilities could process it in larger batches. materials gained from the asteroid could then be used to build the moon colony even larger. The moon contains helium 3 in its soil so you could use that as a fusion fuel source. Water from the asteroids and comets brought into orbit could provide drinking and hydroponics water. When an asteroid has all valuable materials extracted we just detach the ion thrusters and send them to a new asteroid, then slingshot the waste materials into the sun.
Why not just orbit it around the earth? A moon colony seems rather far off, but if we had some way of propelling it like you suggested, then we could keep it in tandem orbit with our space station. that means we could harvest and store raw materials from it, or just keep adding onto existing constructs in space. Since we already put men up there, and the distance isn't so great I think it would be much easier. any waste we created could be ground up and sent to earths atmosphere for re-entry burn up.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.
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