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Deep Space Industries to Use 3D Printer To Convert Asteroids Into Valuable Metal

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  • derhexerus
    URL to man interesting post in the Daily Galaxy _http://tinyurl.com/aw2upkk_ (http://tinyurl.com/aw2upkk) It would be a little ironic if the first groups of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 23, 2013
      URL to man interesting post in the Daily Galaxy
      _http://tinyurl.com/aw2upkk_ (http://tinyurl.com/aw2upkk)

      It would be a little ironic if the first groups of people to spend
      permanent time in orbit were not scientists and astro/cosmonauts, but maintenance
      people who keep the machines running. Ah, well, I don't care how get to
      space as long as we stay there.

      First couple of paragraphs
      Deep Space Industries, a newly formed company, announced plans to launch
      the world's first fleet of _asteroid_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid)
      -hunting spacecraft to search for space rocks that can be harvested for
      precious metals such as platinum and other resources. The one-way prospecting
      trips will begin in 2015, using three laptop-size spacecraft called
      FireFlies, each weighing about 55 pounds, that will take pictures and samples
      from selected _Near-Earth asteroids_
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-Earth_object) . Beginning in 2016, larger spacecraft known as DragonFlies,
      weighing 70 lbs, will be sent on three- to four-year round trip missions to dig
      samples from asteroids and return them to Earth. The company estimates that 1
      ton of asteroid material would be worth $1 million in orbit.
      The samples will be studied and tested to make sure they can be conveted
      into valuable materials. By 2020, Deep Space hopes to get into commercial
      operation and begin producing materials to be used first in space. For
      example, water harvested from asteroids can be broken down to make rocket fuel to
      power communication satellites. Low-cost asteroid-derived fuel will extend
      the working lifetime of these technologies. For each satellite, one extra
      month is worth $5 million to $8 million.
      Deep Space will also rely on a 3D printer called the Microgravity Foundry
      to help manufacture metal parts in space from pure asteroid. The machine can
      print high-strength nickel parts on demand, even in zero gravity. The
      printer can can take its own parts, grind them up, and recycle them into new
      parts, said _Stephen Covey_ (http://stephencovey.com/) , a co-founder of DSI
      and inventor of the process.
      The device can print heavy, massive tools in space, which can then be used
      in the manufacturing of _space habitats_
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_habitat) , platforms and satellites. “Using resources harvested in space
      is the only way to afford permanent space development,” CEO David Gump
      said. “More than 900 new asteroids that pass near Earth are discovered every
      year. They can be like the Iron Range of Minnesota was for the Detroit car
      industry last century – a key resource located near where it was needed. In
      this case, metals and fuel from asteroids can expand the in-space industries
      of this century. That is our strategy.”
      The Daily Galaxy via Deep Space Industries


      (Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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