Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > "Coming Asteroid Could Be Worth $195 Billion" says Deep Space

Abstract:
The asteroid making an extremely close pass of Earth this week could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant, if it were in a different orbit, Deep Space Industries (DSI) announced today. Unfortunately, the path of asteroid 2012 DA14 is tilted relative to Earth, requiring too much energy to chase it down for mining.

"Coming Asteroid Could Be Worth $195 Billion" says Deep Space

McLean, VA | Posted on February 12th, 2013

Sending fuel, water, and building materials into high Earth orbit costs at least $10 million per ton, even using new lower-cost launch vehicles just now coming into service.

"Getting these supplies to serve communications satellites and coming crewed missions to Mars from in-space sources like asteroids is key - if we are going to explore and settle space," said Rick Tumlinson, Chairman of DSI. "While this week's visitor isn't going the right way for us to harvest it, there will be others that are, and we want to be ready when they arrive."

How valuable might such an asteroid be - were it harvestable? According to DSI experts, if 2012 DA14 contains 5% recoverable water, that alone - in space as rocket fuel - might be worth as much as $65 billion. If 10% of its mass is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth - in space as building material - an additional $130 billion.

If the advent of reusable launch vehicles causes future prices to fall to 20% of today's levels, an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 would still be worth $39 billion, and the cost of launching hardware to retrieve and process it would be much lower.

"Even with conservative estimates of the potential value of any given asteroid, if we begin to utilize them in space they are all the equivalent of a space oasis for refueling and resupply," said Deep Space CEO David Gump. "Yet we know very little about most of them. That's why Deep Space is starting off with a prospecting campaign using very affordable cubesat technologies and hitching cheap rides to space as secondary payloads on the launch of large communications satellites."

While its trajectory past Earth is known with precision, almost everything else about the rock is uncertain. It could mass as little as 16,000 tons or as much as one million tons. The great range stems from uncertainties about its diameter - from 25 yards to 100 yards - and its composition. While probably mainly stony in nature, it could vary widely in the amount of water and metals it contains. Astronomers have measured how much light is being reflected from its surface but the question mark is the reflectivity of that surface. If the surface is very dark, reflecting that much light means it must be a big object. Conversely, if the surface is light, even a small asteroid could reflect a lot of light.

"This is thought to be a L-class asteroid, and this type generally reflects about 20 percent of the light that strikes it," said Stephen Covey, DSI's Director of Research and Development. "That would make its diameter about 50 yards and mass about 130,000 tons."

Deep Space Industries will be harvesting asteroids to create propellant to extend the working life of communications satellites, to supply future explorers and to build habitats and other structures in space. However, 2012 DA14 is not one of its targets as its orbit around the Sun is significantly inclined relative to that of the Earth around the Sun, so that reaching it would take too much energy. Deep Space believes there are thousands of near Earth asteroids that will be easier to chase down than this one.

"The challenge right now is to get out there soon so we can inspect and sample them," said Tumlinson. "Whether for mining, science or planetary defense, we really need to begin getting close up and personal with these objects."
  
Deep Space Industries plans to send small probes called FireFlies to examine asteroids and allow comparisons with readings taken by Earth and space based telescopes. They are to be followed by DragonFly sample return missions, to lay the groundwork for potential space mining operations in the 2020 time frame.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:

Copyright © Deep Space Industries

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015

When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more April 28th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

Possible Futures

Printing Silicon on Paper, with Lasers April 21st, 2015

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill: By coupling photons to atoms, light in a glass fiber can be slowed down to the speed of an express train; for a short while it can even be brought to a complete stop April 9th, 2015

Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market is expected to reach $8.5 Billion by 2019 March 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology Enabled Drug Delivery to Influence Future Diagnosis and Treatments of Diseases March 21st, 2015

Announcements

New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015

When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more April 28th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Aerospace/Space

Nanoparticles Used to Improve Mechanical, Thermal Properties of Cellulose Fibers April 23rd, 2015

Engineer improves rechargeable batteries with MoS2 nano 'sandwich' April 18th, 2015

Graphenea embarks on a new era April 16th, 2015

Harvesting energy from electromagnetic waves: In the future, clean alternatives such as harvesting energy from electromagnetic waves may help ease the world's energy shortage April 15th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project