Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries

Abstract:
An asteroid the size of a football field is headed straight towards us. And it will be here within days. But not to worry because 2017 BS5 will pass by Earth at a safe yet cosmically-snug gap of just 3.15 lunar distances (roughly 756,000 miles).

The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries

Moffett Field, CA | Posted on July 23rd, 2017

Discovered this February, 2017 BS5 is one of five near-Earth asteroids with close approaches the folks at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab have their eye on. Another will buzz the Earth in October. Three more will parade past us in the next three years.

To get a better sense of what’s in store with this week’s close encounter we spoke with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at DSI and author of Asteroid Mining 101: Wealth for the New Space Economy.

Q: In your opinion, what is most noteworthy about 2017 BS5?
Dr. John S. Lewis: Everything truly noteworthy about 2017 BS5 will be learned by astronomers this summer. Statistically, there is about a fifty percent chance that the body will turn out to be very dark, around 100 meters wide, weak, and full of water and organic matter. There’s also about a fifty percent chance that it will turn out to be “dry” and strong.

Q: Why haven’t scientists been able to provide us with a better physical description of their recent discovery, asteroid 2017 BS5?
JSL: There are, as yet, no useful data to characterize what 2017 BS5 is made of. The close fly-by this weekend will give Earth-based astronomers a great opportunity to get a good spectrum and tell us what class of meteorite it is most closely related to, what the dominant minerals are, and what economic value it might have.

Q: Do the orbital characteristics of 2017 BS5 disqualify it as a potential mining target?
JSL: Near-Earth asteroids contain a number of bodies with orbits very close to Earth, with orbital periods close to one Earth year. Because of the nearby orbits, their synodic periods, or the time it takes to “lap” Earth from one close fly-by to the next, is often uncomfortably long. Sixty years, in this case. Thus, assuming we get beautifully informative spectra of 2017 BS5 this summer, our next opportunity to send a probe to it, and potentially mine it, will be one synodic period later, which puts it in 2077. I for one will not be waiting for that launch. I’ll be 136 years old, and expect to be retired by then.

Q: Assuming that 2017 BS5 was identified as a desirable target, what would your recommendations be for mining its resources for in-space use?
JSL: My recommended strategy is to wait for the observations to pour in before investing in commercial exploitation. Although there is a high likelihood that it will turn out to be made of something useful, that built-in 60-year cooling-off period is a strong deterrent to investment. Also, we need to have the compositional information before we can design processing equipment suitable for use on it. Loose silicate dust, monolithic steel crystals, and sticky mud require and deserve very different processing schemes.

Q: At an estimated 40–90 meters wide, 2017 BS5 is not considered a potentially hazardous object but do you know what level of damage it could cause should it impact Earth or explode in Earth’s atmosphere?
JSL: Until we know what the body is made of, hazard projections are nonsense. It could be a dustball, a snowball, a loose collection of rocky rubble, a monolithic soft rock, a monolithic hard rock, a giant steel cannonball, et cetera. It could, at the extremes, fall apart into dust at high altitudes or penetrate hundreds of meters into Earth’s crust and explode like World War III.

Read the blog post, and examine the infographic on DSI's website.

####

About Deep Space Industries
Deep Space Industries is an international space resources company, utilizing the most advanced nanosat technologies to realize asteroid mining. To learn more about DSI’s asteroid mining projects, innovative technology, or world-renowned team of experts, please visit: DeepSpaceIndustries.com.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Deep Space Industries
NASA Research Park
Building 156, Suite 204
Moffett Field, CA 94035

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

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Possible Futures

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Demonstrates Industry-Leading 112G Technology for Next-Generation Connectivity Solutions: High bandwidth, low power SerDes IP portfolio enables ‘connected intelligence’ in data centers and networking applications November 15th, 2017

Announcements

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Aerospace/Space

Promising sensors for submarines, mines and spacecraft: MSU scientists are developing nanostructured gas sensors that would work at room temperature November 10th, 2017

Atomic scale Moiré patterns to push electronic boundaries? November 1st, 2017

Ames Laboratory, UConn discover superconductor with bounce October 25th, 2017

Nanotube fiber antennas as capable as copper: Rice University researchers show their flexible fibers work well but weigh much less October 23rd, 2017

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