# Near Earth Asteroid Relocation

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##### Guest
What would it take to relocate a 100-meter diameter asteroid to Earth - Lunar L1 orbit, or GEO? The asteroid pictured is about 3 million tons, or 100,000 Shuttle payloads. It is in an Aten orbit, & approaches to within 2,000,000 miles of Earth orbit once every 3.6 years, traveling 1% out of the ecliptic. <br />After we have captured it what could we do with it.<br />Our asteroid is, 33% silica, 24% magnesium / sulfur, 16% iron in the form of chunks, pebbles & granules, 6% H2O 3% carbon, 2% aluminum, & 16% trace element & minerals. <br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

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##### Guest
Also, our asteroid is a C2, or clay matrix asteroid, keeping it all in one piece. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

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#### ve7rkt

##### Guest
I'd imagine that the Atens would be easier to send to Earth if you intended to land it in that stadium at several kilometers per second, but that the Apollos would be easier if you actually want to put it into Earth orbit to be useful. I haven't done the math though.<br /><br />What you'll need is a fantastic amount of thrust, the likes of which only sci-fi authors have dreamt. Or you need a more reasonably unreasonable amount of thrust that a scientist could dream of, and a fantastic amount of time.<br /><br />You're also going to need a darn good reason to bother with it, so I'd suggest you answer the "what would we do with it" question first. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />

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#### quarkstorm

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Why bring it to earth at all, why not mine it <i>in situ</i> and send the products to earth by regular shuttle delivery. If we were to mine <i>in situ</i> it would allow us to choose a larger asteroid. We'd want to choose one that doesn't approach the sun too closely otherwise our mining colony might get fried.

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#### webtaz99

##### Guest
The first thing you'd need is a truly gigantic Ziploc, to trap the volitals. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>

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##### Guest
If the Atens are not in acceptable orbits letï¿½s choose an Apollo. If this one is too big to handle, letï¿½s find one half the size.<br /> This is an exercise in how we could move an ore body into an easily accessible orbit, where we could get to it to use the materials for construction purposes, & to make it pay for the mission.<br /> The one I chose to start with would yield around 480,000 tons of iron, & around 45,000,000 gallons of water. <br /> The technological challenges are great, but the payoff could be in the billions. If the platinum content is just .05%, the yield will be around 48,000,000 pounds worth a low estimate at todayï¿½s dollars \$720,000,000,000!!! And thatï¿½s just .05% of the usable materiel!!!<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

B

##### Guest
The reason I want to bring it to orbit, is accessibility. We will not mine all of the iron first, then all the aluminum, we will be getting a percentage of each as we drill into it. As it is mined, tunnels will be excavated & chambers will be formed, as ore deposits are followed, allowing it to become a space station in itself. We could ship bulk metals, or we could make some finished products in situ; i.e. Ceramic Aluminum glass panels, radiation shielding from the 5 to 15 tons of lead we would harvest, & a dozen other things I cant think of right now that could be used in Space Station fabrication, Spaceship construction, or orbital industrial fabrication. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

B

##### Guest
A giant Ziploc baggie? Is that the best technical solution you can come up with? <br /> A C2 clay type asteroid is going to have a very hard crust, the volatiles are already contained, and all we have to do is design an entry method that does not breach that containment with too great a loss, & allows easy entry & exit.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

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#### nexium

##### Guest
I'll guess it would take about 100 times as much fuel as the shuttle uses to get from Earth's surface to low Earth orbit; twice that much to get a 3 million ton asteroid in GEO orbit instead of luner L1, but you have to get the fuel to the asteroid, which is totally impractical with today's technology.<br />Silica is common sand or quartz. Separating the elements and compounds would be costly, delivery to Earth would be costly. threatened delivery of large quantities to Earth would depress the world price of these substances, even if rather small quantities were actually delivered. Neil

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#### quarkstorm

##### Guest
It is possible that one day all our basic raw materials will come from asteroid mining like this. This will of course require a massive readjustment of the markets, whilst mining companies will inevitably suffer the availability of cheaper raw materials will naturally cause a boom in the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors. Because there is no air in space the metals are not found in oxidised ores, many in fact exist in the native state. This makes processing them considerably cheaper. Asteroid mining is one of the major ways that space exploration can be made profitable.

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#### vogelbek

##### Guest
I'm concerned about the atmospheric polution of delivering an industrial supply of ore from space if there is any significant ablation of each payload. Has anyone ever seen any figures on this??<br /><br /><br />

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##### Guest
I’m not sure what you mean, what would take about 100 times as much fuel as the shuttle uses to get from Earth's surface to low Earth orbit. It’s already in space.<br /> Most of the materiels mined would end up being used in space, not on Earth, only those metals that could bring a good price would be brought back to the surface. As for depressing the price, check into the way DeBeers has controlled the price of diamonds, if we release only what there is a market demand for the law of supply & demand continues to rule. As for fuel, don’t forget our Asteroid has 180,000 tons of H2o in it. It comes close enough that multiple trips to it can be made to set up the nessesary infrastructure before moving it.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

B

##### Guest
Heres some stuff that I gathered;<br /><br />Experiments on Earth (not in space) in processing lunar soil simulants were performed in the early 1990s in a joint research effort by the McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company (MDSSC), the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), and the Space Studies Institute (SSI). (Paper reference.) This was based on a solar oven MDSSC had built for previous research into solar power for producing electricity, a 75 kilowatt thermal solar collector made originally for a 25 kilowatt electric Stirling engine but reapplied to a simple oven for the lunar materials. This solar concentrator can achieve concentration ratios of 10,000 suns (i.e., 1400 Watts/cm2) over a 20 cm (8 inch) wide beam. The device is located at MDSSC's Solar Energy Test Facility in Huntington Beach, California. (MDSSC also developed a 10 megawatt Solar One power tower but that was overkill for lunar materials processing.) <br /><br />Many solar concentrators have been built for producing both thermal and electrical power, some for Earth-based applications and others as experiments intended for eventual use in space. It is a very basic technology. The main issues are specific designs for processing asteroidal and lunar materials, and tweaking those designs. <br /><br />Notably, it is generally thought that fiber optics can be used to pipe moderately concentrated sunlight into factories for specific thermal operations. Research is needed in this field. The key designs will be those which best couple the cables to the solar flux collectors. <br /><br />Electrical energy will be abundant and cheap from solar cells. As the MIT report on manufacturing SPSs in space put it: "...the cost of energy for the SMF operations resembles the cost pattern of SPS's: a large initial outlay for the solar array, followed by a very low operating cost (due to the absence of need for fuel and the low maintenance requirement). Therefore, for long operating times, the cost of energy in SMF operations c <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

B

##### Guest
Asteroids about the size of a pickup truck hit the upper atmosphere about once a month, & are broken up on impact; the Earth accumulates a substantial amount of space dust daily also. Any more from these deliveries will be negligible. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

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#### vogelbek

##### Guest
I just get to wondering at what point Neglegible (perhaps a few dozen deliveries per day) would become signicant (a few thousand deliveries per day maybe).<br /><br />Perhaps with the right trajectory, and well-designed refractory metal shells for your payloads, you could get the total ammount of ablation very low. Then all you have to worry about is accidentally hitting things on the ground with your multi-ton bricks of goodness. <br /><br />

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#### ve7rkt

##### Guest
> We will not mine all of the iron first, then all the aluminum, we will be getting a percentage of each as we drill into it.<br /><br />As with any mining. Copper smelters produce copper, sure, but they also produce zinc, gold, platinum, germanium (for fibre optics), all kinds of stuff.<br /><br />To accomplish that, they do not smelt the entire mountain. They don't even move the whole mountain. The stuff coming out of the mountain is only a few percent useful. They take most of the unwanted dirt out right at the mountain, and ship the resulting "concentrate," something like 30-35% useful materials, to the smelter.<br /><br />We'd do away with shipping concentrate if we could. We'd just do the smelting right at the mountain, and only have to ship the end products. But smelting takes an unthinkable amount of electricity. So you build your smelter where you can make electricity. There's a smelter in Trail, BC, Canada because it was a good place to build three hydroelectric dams dedicated just to powering the smelter.<br /><br />They do everything they can to minimize the amount of useless material they move, and that's in a system where the transport is done by ship and train, which are just about as cheap as transportation can be. Shipping by spaceflight is just about as expensive as transportation can be. Send your smelter to the asteroid. You'll make just as much aluminum, iron, platinum and whatever as you would have in Earth orbit, but you won't have to move all that useless rock.

B

##### Guest
Remember what I said above, only the most marketable metals will be shipped back to Earth, i.e. platinum, gold, jewel grade diamonds, etc.<br /> Also, I remember reading about an inflatable Reentry shield being developed in Russia<br /> . When a Soyuz rocket takes off into the night sky over Baikonur on February 9 2000, it will carry the promise of an innovative way to return cargo from space.<br />The mission will test the inflatable reentry shield, designed by a Russian company for past Mars missions, but now revived as a possible compact and cost-effective technology to bring payloads back to Earth. <br />Two reentry shields, known as Inflatable Reentry and Descent Technology (IRDT), will be mounted on the new Fregat upper stage, itself being tested for the first time for possible commercial applications. <br />If all goes according to plan, a big inflatable shield will be used to return the Fregat to Earth -- the first-ever operation of its kind. <br />To protect the Fregat during fiery reentry, the IRDT shield will inflate from a 3.3-foot (1-meter) compact package up to 39-53 feet (12-16 meters) in diameter shortly before reentry. <br />A smaller IRDT shield launched in the same mission will attempt to return a payload demonstrator to Earth.<br />The Lavochkin bureau in Moscow built the IRDT shields, the project is a combined venture with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG, DASA -- based in Munich.<br />Robin Zell, DASA's spokesperson, said that the company sees enormous commercial applications for the technology. <br />"Our first idea is to incorporate IRDT into the ATV space tug," Zell said.<br />The ATV is a transfer vehicle, which the European Space Agency is developing to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).<br />The inflatable shields installed on the ATV space tugs would allow not only the delivery, but also the return of cargo from the ISS. The company believes that the cost of the new method will be lower than traditional ways of returning payloads o <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

B

##### Guest
And then;<br />One of two spacecraft lost for more than a week in the steppe of southern Russia is now recovered, a spokesman told SPACE.com. <br />The smaller of the two inflatable reentry shields, known as IRDTs, was picked up Tuesday by a search team and delivered to a military base near Orenburg by helicopter, NPO Lavochkin representatives said.<br />NPO Lavochkin designed the shields. They were created to protect a payload as it reenters the atmosphere on its way back to Earth. The mission was a joint venture with Daimler-Chrysler. <br />Preliminary data shows some damage to the IRDT, which apparently occurred during touchdown in very bad weather.<br />The small reentry shield, which reached 26 feet (8 meters) in diameter when inflated, carried a 243-pound (110-kilogram) satellite demonstrator. The spacecraft will be delivered to Moscow on Wednesday for a detailed examination, said NPO Lavochkin spokesman Konstantin Pichkhadze. <br />"It is too early to congratulate us with the success of the mission since we [have] yet to establish the extent of the damage to the spacecraft," Pichkhadze told SPACE.com.<br />A search for the larger IRDT device, which was expected to deliver the Fregat upper stage to Earth, continued today as the visibility in the landing area improved, Pichkhadze said. The IRDT device, which carried Fregat into the atmosphere, reached 46 feet (14 meters) in diameter when inflated.<br />Both IRDT devices were launched on February 8 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan as an additional payload to the test flight of the Fregat upper stage. The IRDT-type technology promises to be a compact and cheap way of returning cargo from space.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

B

##### Guest
Here's a pic; <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

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##### Guest
As with all activities in space, we have to change the very way we think about how we do anything. Every scrap extracted from the asteroid will be utilized! <br /> Take a look at this web site; it is where I am getting a lot of my info, www.permanent.com <br /> Once we get past the “It can’t be done” & the “It’s a waste of time” mindsets, we can start on mission planning.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

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#### barrykirk

##### Guest
It may be that the first permanent colonies in space<br />are established with asteroid based material. <br /><br />I don't consider the ISS a colony in space, it's an<br />outpost.<br /><br />A colony is where people go, live, have children, and die.<br /><br />Asteroids have the huge advantage of being material<br />that is not at the bottom of a large gravity well.<br /><br />As for moving them closer to earth. We can use some<br />of the electric style engines or even a mass driver system.<br /><br />I still like the idea of a mass driver in that if properly<br />designed it can use any mass. It doesn't care what<br />material the mass is made of. So, you can use the<br />least useful stuff on the asteroid as reaction mass for<br />your mass driver.

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#### ve7rkt

##### Guest
> Once we get past the “It can’t be done” & the “It’s a waste of time” mindsets, we can start on mission planning.<br /><br />No, once we get past the "it can't be done" and "it's a waste of time," we can start on the part where we ask "does it make sense to do it this way or are there other, more productive ways." We can use nuclear bombs to dig coal mines on Earth, and it's a fantastic time saver, but it turns out that controlled blasting with conventional explosives is a better method.<br /><br />You push an asteroid into LEO, you'll get one asteroid's useful resources back to Earth, including tens of millions of tons of rocky waste that, yes, you'll probably find some use for if it's hanging around in cislunar space and cheap-as-free since nobody else wants it. You put that same energy into harvesting the asteroids on-site, and you'll get two dozen asteroids' worth of resources back to Earth, every gram of which you know will have direct and immediate use.<br /><br />Now, you want to ignore that, and just for fun, you want to know know what it takes to move an asteroid? Cool. Here's a cheap and easy way to figure out your delta-V requirement. Download the Orbiter space simulator. Play around with it. Get the multifunction display that gives you an estimate of how much delta-V you have left. Fly your crazy science-fictiony atomic powered rocket to the orbit you think your asteroid is in, then turn OFF the unlimited fuel cheat. Look at how much delta-V you have available. Now, fly yourself into an Earth parking orbit. Look at how much delta-V you have left. You're going to find that you used up 2km/s of maneuvering, or 5km/s, or 300m/s, or whatever. That's going to tell us how much we have to push the rock. Then we'll get on to designing a thrust package with the ability to change the rock's speed by the same amount. And if you do the simulation just once, I'll do the drive design a couple times with different drive systems (space shuttle main engi

B

##### Guest
ve7rkt Said;<br />You push an asteroid into LEO, you'll get one asteroid's useful resources back to Earth, including tens of millions of tons of rocky waste that, yes, you'll probably find some use for if it's hanging around in cislunar space and cheap-as-free since nobody else wants it. You put that same energy into harvesting the asteroids on-site, and you'll get two dozen asteroids' worth of resources back to Earth, every gram of which you know will have direct and immediate use. <br /> <br />It's not going to LEO, it's going to GEO or Lunar L1, it does not weigh tens of millions tons, it is 3 million tons total, most of the materiel, including the outer shell will be used in space, only the materials that can bring a profit will be brought to Earth.<br /><br />ve7rkt Said;<br />Fly your crazy science-fictiony atomic powered rocket to the orbit you think your asteroid is in, then turn OFF the unlimited fuel cheat.<br /><br /> All of the engines & ship designs I have looked at are actual NASA designs. Not “science-fictiony”. Most of them were designed to go to Mars back in the 1960’s & 1970’s. With today’s materials & technology upgrades to 60’s & 70’s designs, it should be no problem to go 2,000,000 miles out, & back, with a 2 week stay to evaluate what is needed, then 3.6 years later go back to set up the space shuttle main engine, VASIMIR, mass driver, NERVA, beer kegs, whatever. The whole idea here is to have fun while doing something hard. BTW, I can’t do the math either. <br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

B

##### Guest
As for moving them closer to earth. We can use some <br />of the electric style engines or even a mass driver system. <br /><br /> Solar Electric might be possible.<br /><br />I still like the idea of a mass driver in that if properly <br />designed it can use any mass. It doesn't care what <br />material the mass is made of. So, you can use the <br />least useful stuff on the asteroid as reaction mass for <br />your mass driver. <br /> <br />I don’t like the Mass Driver, because, we are using the asteroid as a source of materiel for construction, & I think we would lose too much mass.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>

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#### ve7rkt

##### Guest
Sorry, I wasn't clear. In Orbiter, use the default crazy science-fictiony Delta Glider, because it'll make things easier. The engines you're using in the simulation don't matter, all we want to know is how big a change in speed we need to produce. This, we'll compare with several kinds of propulsion systems (including solar-electric) and it will tell us how much fuel we'd have to send out to the rock (eg, a statement like "the amount of fuel required will be [1/100th, 1/10th, 5 times] the mass of the asteroid you want to push").<br /><br />For extra bonus points, solve the following for (m0/mf):<br />dV = Isp * G * ln(m0/mf)<br />It's important later. <br /><br />And for the record, I don't like the mass driver because you're flinging bricks of rock out of a cannon and hoping they don't end up anywhere inconvenient decades later. Still, we can do the math for that one too, and it'll tell us how much rock we'd need to consume.

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