Monday, April 23, 2012

Cameron and Google want to mine asteroids

Space Mining Venture

Well, I have to hand it to James Cameron.  The guy thinks BIG.  His latest venture, with some Google execs and Ross Perot Jr., and other people with serious economic and space-related credentials, is to mine near-Earth objects (NEOs), specifically asteroids rich in platinum-group metals. 
COMMENT: Well, this is breathtaking in its ambition.  "Go big or stay on Earth." I have to wonder about the transportation aspects. I wouldn't try to do this with only today's chemical propulsion.  I'd want an in-space nuclear thermal propulsion system so I could shuttle back and forth, or drag small asteroids, without having to burn umpteen tons of hydrogen or kerosene that has to be hauled into space at major expense.  I wish these folks luck.  There would need to be a billion-plus investment to get the NTR propulsion, but otherwise I'm not sure the economics will work at all.  I hope they succeed, though. 

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