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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology
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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Jim Drury reports that ambitious plans to build a twenty kilometer (12.4 miles) tall space elevator tower have been announced by a Canadian space technology firm. Although this distance is a mere fraction of that reached in space missions, Thoth Technology says its ThothX Tower will make a major cost reduction in space flights by helping navigate the difficult first 50 kilometers (31 miles) of travel that traditionally requires rockets. The latter are inefficient, particularly regarding fuel consumption. In addition to needing to carry sufficient fuel to get a payload into orbit, they need ext... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/09/04  |  199 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

The theme of the 2013 conference is Tether Climbers with a focus on requirements, design, operations, operating environments, mass estimates, cost estimates, etc.

Space elevators are a radical new way to access space less expensively than possible with chemical rocket technology. The technology offers solutions to many of the problems facing the world today, including the need for clean, renewable energy. A space elevator uses a carbon nanotube ribbon that stretches from the surface of the earth to a counterweight in space. Climbers ascend the ribbon lifting cargo and passengers to... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/08/15  |  330 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Wednesday, May 20, 2015, business leaders, entrepreneurs, analysts, government representatives and academics will gather in Toronto for the Space Innovation Business Summit. The Summit takes place on the first day of the 34th International Space Development Conference, which runs through May 24th, 2015.

The Summit is bringing together companies, large and small, who are innovating. The Summit looks at how to finance technology, discusses the markets that are being created and how they are evolving, and includes papers presented on:

- Lessons learned from innovation leader... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/05/14  |  189 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

The 4th Planet goal is to create and test various habitats from naturally occurring terrestrial lava tubes analogous to the Moon and Mars. The advantage of this approach is that it reduces the amount of construction materials required to be placed in orbit and then relocated on a lunar and or martian surface.

Currently, 4th Planet Logistics objective is an evaluation of the practicality of pressurizing terrestrial lava tubes directly by creating atmospheric barriers that utilize the lava tube naturally occurring regime as a primary or secondary structural shell. This approach will... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/03/21  |  4 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Lewis M. Andrews recently opined in the Chicago Sun-Times that geoscientists conclude that a gas known as helium-3 can produce abundant energy from nuclear fusion without simultaneously creating any radioactive waste. Yet helium-3 is rarely if ever mentioned in the same breath with the approved trinity of solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.

It is true that helium-3, a lightweight isotope of the gas that fills children birthday balloons, is rarely found on Earth. Our planet has a thick atmosphere and magnetic field that blocks out rays coming from the sun that carry the element. Bu... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/12/02  |  167 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

What happens when an industry reaches a point where the number of safety and health issues are only maintaining, but not improving? That is when it is time to explore different approaches, or else risk the danger of experiencing a reverse trend. Fortunately, the mining industry made the former choice at the turn of this century.

Dr. Michael Karmis concludes that a total paradigm shift in safety and health management has taken place since the late 1990s and early 2000s, extending beyond what had been the traditional approach of regulatory controls and engineering controls. The tradi... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2016/03/05  |  181 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Dom Galeon reports that humans are gearing up to traverse the stars deeper than ever before. To that end, China launched the Long March 11 rocket this past November 10th, carrying with it a number of satellites. The most notable of these is one that could very well define deep space navigation for the future of space exploration.

China X-ray Pulsar Navigation 1 (XPNAV 1) satellite is the first x-ray navigation system. Prior to the XPNAV 1, the only way for spacecraft to keep track of their location is through the earth-based NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) and ESA European Space Track... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2016/11/30  |  54 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

When space shuttle Atlantis returns to Earth this week from its final flight, NASA will be out of the business of launching humans into space for the foreseeable future. But soon, there could be more American space travelers than ever. That's because several companies are developing spacecraft that will take anyone into space who wants to go provided they can pay for the ride. Several companies are offering trips that will give people a few minutes of weightlessness at the edge of space. SpaceX Adventures, Virgin Galactic and XCOR are all taking deposits.... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2011/07/16  |  411 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

But one major argument against mining in space is the astronomical costs associated with mining asteroids. A recent set of studies from Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics highlights just how problematic this might be. They say that ore is not simply a high concentration of some resource, but includes consideration of the cost of extraction of the resource and its price. Hence we need to sieve the total asteroid population for the smaller populations that may be profitable to mine.

Dr. Martin Elvis used a simple formula for assessing how many near-Earth asteroids are ore-bea... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/02/10  |  245 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Phillip Swarts reports that The U.S. must be prepared for any Chinese aggression in space, said Gen. John Hyten, leader of U.S. Strategic Command. China tested the ability to destroy a satellite in low-Earth orbit in 2007, and they continue to test that capability today ... at multiple orbital regimes, Hyten said during a Jan. 24 speech at Stanford University.

In the not-too-distant future, they will be able to use that capability to threaten every spacecraft we have in space, Hyten said, according to a press release from the Defense Department. We have to prevent that, and the best... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/02/11  |  24 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

This AAPG-EMD Special Publication (Memoir 101) is a comprehensive and integrated review of energy resources in the Solar System, including materials that could both sustain future manned expeditions as well as meet Earth energy and mineral challenges in the 21st century and beyond. It has been prepared by a group of well-known industry, government, and university geologists and engineers, including NASA astronauts and other professionals from a range of geotechnical specialties. Any long-range program of human exploration and settlement of the solar system must consider in-situ resource utiliz... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/03/08  |  911 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Geomagnetic storms are a natural hazard, like hurricanes and tsunamis, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) forecasts for the public's benefit. Severe geomagnetic storms cause communications problems, abruptly increase drag on spacecraft, and can cause electric utility blackouts over a wide area. The location of ACE at the L1 libration point between the earth and the sun will enable ACE to give about a one hour advance warning of impending geomagnetic activity.

NOAA has arranged for the transmission of a subset of da... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2009/08/13  |  492 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Astronauts on a Mars mission will be exposed to galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) and increased radiation during periodic solar storms. GCR is highly penetrating but low intensity (a cosmic drizzle), while solar storms are intense, short lived, and infrequent (cosmic thunderstorms). Solar storms are most likely during a roughly 7 to 8 year period of increased solar activity (solar maximum) and much less likely during a 3-to-4-year period of reduced solar activity (solar minimum).

Radiation from solar storms can be effectively reduced by shielding thickness. The GCR is nearly twice as... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2016/05/27  |  160 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Africa is the second-largest and second-most-populous continent. Its population is the youngest among all the continents. 50 per cent of Africans are 19 years old or younger.

Today Africa is most often thought of as a continent in turmoil. This is true, especially with the diseases and political turmoil that has infected some of our nation states. However, the people of Africa are also very capable and starting to recover with 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world last year. Africa is also a continent renowned for the resilience, industry and ingenuity of its people. More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/11/21  |  214 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Coverage of Pluto, Mars, Jupiter, Ceres, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing and much more. It was a big year in space, and this week, Alan Boyle, GeekWire's aerospace and science editor, summarizes everything and put the universe in perspective. We also look ahead to 2016 and bring things closer to Earth with an explanation of the FAA's new registration requirements for recreational drones.

Coverage ... Space, Drones, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, SpaceX, and Blue Origin
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2016/01/01  |  160 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Michael Lemonick reports that Avi Loeb has an unorthodox new idea about how to search for alien civilizations ... and it is hardly a surprise. Loeb, who chairs the astronomy department at Harvard University, has spent much of his career thinking about how the first stars came to life after the big bang, and how galaxies were born. But lately he has become intrigued with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, and he tends to come at it in unusual ways.

Over the past few years, for example, Loeb has suggested searching for aliens by looking for artificial lighting on P... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/11/17  |  176 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Rebecca Boyle blogs that since the 1960s, Mars exploration has either been conducted by robot surveyors or confined to opaque dreams of human visitors. The first path has been an unqualified success. Humans have sent twenty-odd spacecraft to Mars, and uncrewed ships have uncovered many of the red planet secrets.

NASA robotic missions have been following water, which suggests a habitable history, and have found plenty of evidence that Mars was once balmy and damp. Robotic orbiters and planned landers from Europe, Russia, China and India (none landed successfully, save for one Russia... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/03/04  |  20 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

by Greg Klein

It happened some 3.9 billion light years away, lasted less than one-fifth of a second and created gold worth about $10 octillion. Even more significant to those following these events, the June 3 gamma ray burst might have provided key evidence to support a theory about the cosmic origins of gold and other metals. That is the message announced July 17 by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. They suggest that the gamma-ray burst supports a 20-year-old theory that gold results from collisions of neutron stars, not from supernovae. Although the collisions happ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/07/23  |  291 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

For a time it looked like the Google Lunar XPRIZE was a failure, another pie-in-the-sky space age dream never to materialize. When it was announced in 2007, the $30-million competition to land and operate a privately funded spacecraft on the moon was slated to conclude by 2012.

Getting to the moon, its organizers thought, should not take more than five years. Instead, the contest has gone through multiple rule revisions and deadline extensions as its competing teams struggled to make progress. Now, after enduring several quiet years and waning public interest, the competition is at... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2016/03/31  |  131 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Josh Wolonick asks whether Deep Space Industries will change the way we think about the business of space. A look into the possibilities, and insight from one of the company founders. Deep Space Industries made news in January, 2013 by announcing plans to begin space prospecting, setting in motion its goal of mining asteroids for resources. As soon as 2015, the McLean, Virginia-based company, founded last month, plans to launch a small fleet of 55-pound spacecraft, called FireFlies, that will take one-way trips to near-Earth asteroids to take pictures and samples. In 2016, the company, founded... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/08/13  |  201 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Lee Billings reports that China, Russia and the U.S. are developing and testing controversial new capabilities to wage war in Earth orbit. The most worrisome military flash point is arguably not in the Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Kashmir or Ukraine. In fact, it cannot be located on any globe. The contested territory? The no-mans-land of Earth orbit, where a conflict is unfolding that is an arms race in all but name.

About 1,300 active satellites now reside in the region of outer space immediately surrounding our planet, where they provide worldwide communicati... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/10/19  |  190 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Asteroid miner Planetary Resources, the Seattle-based asteroid exploration company, reached its $1 million pledge goal to build a space telescope before the self-imposed deadline and it is now aiming even higher.
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2013/06/22  |  319 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Christopher Rawluk reports that at first glance mining an asteriod sounds ridiculous. Why would anyone consider mining in space when even the largest Earth-based mining operations seem to have trouble managing costs? After all, mid-grade and marginal deposits seem to have trouble finding any money and the process of moving a project from prospect to mine can take decades and cost hundreds of million of dollars.

First, one of the many items that was lost back in October, 2014 when the Antares rocket was destroyed was the Arkyd 3 satellite. Arkyd 3 is a testing platform designed by Pl... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2015/01/20  |  201 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Christopher Rawluk reports that at first glance off-world mining sounds ridiculous. Why would anyone consider mining in space when even the largest Earth-based mining operations seem to have trouble managing costs. After all, mid-grade and marginal deposits seem to have trouble finding any money and the process of moving a project from prospect to mine can take decades and cost hundreds of million of dollars. He was the first to admit that the whole idea of asteroid mining was initially right up there with Star Trek-style transporters and desktop cold fusion, but a few recent events have pique... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2014/11/21  |  176 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Off-World Exploration, Mining, & Technology

Clive Cookson reports that the Luxembourg government announced this week that it will promote a commercial asteroid mining industry astonished even seasoned space industry observers. He opines that doubters, like himself, had many questions. Is it feasible to extract materials from asteroids, rock and ice hundreds of millions of miles away, and process them into useful products and commodities? If so, can anyone make money out of it? And even if the economics stack up, why should little Luxembourg be involved?

Further consideration and conversations with the project promoters are be... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2016/02/06  |  172 Report Broken   Tell A Friend
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