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

The China Space Program management reports that diversifying their presence throughout the solar system and beyond is a viable risk mitigation strategy to ensure the long-term survival of life and our civilization. Investing in a life insurance policy does not free us from the responsibility to do everything we can to mitigate against existential risks on our home planet, whether they are natural or human-made. However, should we fail, a self-sustaining human settlement on Mars and elsewhere could carry the torch of our civilization.

Some terrestrial needs are best served by going t... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/21  |  1 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Mike Wall reports that Elon Musk has been focused on Mars, but he has finally realized that a human outpost on the Moon would be better for now and much closer to home in order to practice our new technology before going to Mars.

To really get the public fired up, he thinks that we need a base on the Moon, the billionaire founder and CEO of SpaceX said today (July 19) at the 2017 International Space Station Research and Development (ISSR and D) conference in Washington, D.C.

Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, which would be the Moon base, and then ge... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/20  |  6 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Chelsea Gohd reports that recently, it was revealed that legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would permit the creation of a sixth branch of the Armed Forces, the United States Space Corps (USSC). Proposed in part to protect satellites from potential interference, this will be, in effect, a space army. While the Trump administration is not in full support of this addition, the bill was passed by the House on Friday.

The USSC, however, still has a long way to go. This new branch would be created through an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/17  |  4 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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The identification and utilization of space resources is fast becoming a reality, driven by a revolution in space technology, accelerating exploration of outer space and the eventual scarcity of certain resources on Earth. Building on its long history at the forefront of the commercial satellite communications industry, Luxembourg aims to play a leading role in the exploration and utilization of these resources.

Its goal is to ensure that space resources explored under its jurisdiction serve a peaceful purpose, are gathered and used in a sustainable manner compatible with internatio... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/17  |  6 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Eric Berger reports that after several years of secrecy, a company called Moon Express revealed the scope of its ambitions on Wednesday. And they are considerable. The privately held company released plans for a single, modular spacecraft that can be combined to form successfully larger and more capable vehicles. Ultimately the company plans to establish a lunar outpost in 2020 and set up commercial operations on the Moon.

Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. We absolutely in... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/15  |  2 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Mike Wall reports that The quest to win a $30 million race to the moon is just the first part of Moon Express grand plan. The Florida-based company is developing an entire family of spacecraft designed to help usher in a new age of low-cost space exploration, from the moon to Mars and beyond, Moon Express representatives revealed today.

As its name suggests, Moon Express vision starts with Earth nearest neighbor. The company is one of five teams left in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, which will award $20 million to the first privately funded group to soft-land a robot on the... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/13  |  6 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Welcome to the July 2017 Newsletter. Here you will find current technical content from our engineers and new opportunities to get involved. Most importantly this is a reminder to register for the annual Space Elevator Conference this August in Seattle! If you wish to submit a paper, the July 10th deadline for abstracts is fast approaching. The three-day programs included technical lectures, group brainstorming sessions, a Family Science Fest and full access to the Seattle Museum of Flight where the conference is held.

In this edition you will find further updates from Vern Hall and ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/13  |  6 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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This concept animation illustrates the robotic segment of NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission. The Asteroid Redirect Vehicle, powered by solar electric propulsion, travels to a large asteroid to robotically collect a boulder from its surface. It then conducts a gravity tractor planetary defense demonstration on the asteroid before bringing the captured boulder to a stable orbit around the moon where astronauts can visit, explore, and sample it.

It has begun ...
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/12  |  7 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Mike Wall reports that China has launched its second-ever space lab, a key part of the national plan to have a permanently staffed space station up and running by the early 2020s. The uncrewed Tiangong-2 spacecraft lifted off today from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, riding a Long March-2F T2 rocket to orbit.

If all goes according to plan, the 9.5-ton (8.6 metric tons) Tiangong-2, whose name translates as Heavenly Palace in Mandarin, will soon settle into an orbit about 236 miles above Earth and perform a series of initial tests and checkouts, according to China... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/12  |  6 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Streamed live on Sep 27, 2016, SpaceX Founder, CEO, and Lead Designer Elon Musk discusses the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars. The technical presentation focuses on potential architectures for sustaining humans on the Red Planet that industry, government and the scientific community can collaborate on in the years ahead.
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/07/12  |  7 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Mindy Weisberger reports that satellites orbiting Earth and other planets in the solar system travel at thousands of miles per hour, their missions spanning years or even decades. They were built to last on their own, but how might space agencies service them if parts break down, or if they run low on fuel?

That is where space robots come in, according to panelists speaking at Future Con, a convention held in Washington, D.C., where talks and exhibits explored the intersection of cutting-edge science with science fiction and popular culture. At a June 18 panel Robots in Space, NASA ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/06/27  |  9 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Jay Bennett reports that DARPA announced that it has selected Boeing to design and build a new reusable, hypersonic spaceplane called the Phantom Express that would fly into high suborbital altitudes to launch satellites into orbit before coming back down to land horizontally like an airplane.

The unmanned craft, part of the Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program, would release a small expendable upper stage rocket after it reaches suborbital altitudes. The upper stage would continue to carry the payload to orbit while the first stage, the spaceplane itself, would bank and return to... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/06/27  |  9 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Mike Wall opined in 2015 that asteroid mining could shift from sci-fi to world-changing reality soon. Planetary Resources deployed its first spacecraft from the International Space Station last month, and the Washington-based asteroid-mining company aims to launch a series of increasingly ambitious and capable probes over the next few years.

The goal is to begin transforming asteroid water into rocket fuel within a decade, and eventually to harvest valuable and useful platinum-group metals from space rocks. They have every expectation that delivering water from asteroids and creatin... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/06/25  |  12 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Sam Moorhouse blogs that the concept of asteroid mining is very much on-trend. Through sustained advances in technology provides access to the riches hosted by asteroids, such efforts have now moved from far-fetched lunacy to plausible concepts. This short editorial considers asteroid mining within the realms of traditional mining feasibility assessments.

Mining feasibility is a process which itself has undergone repeated refinement over the last few decades culminating in a widely accepted and formalized process that now, by-and-large, aligns all mineral deposit evaluations (altho... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/06/25  |  10 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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Elon Musk reports that by talking about the SpaceX Mars architecture, he wants to make Mars seem possible, make it seem as though it is something that we can do in our lifetime. He thinks there are really two fundamental paths. History is going to bifurcate along two directions. One path is where we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event. He does not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but eventually, history suggests, there will be some doomsday event. The alternative is to become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species, which he hopes... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/06/22  |  16 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Christopher Rawluk reports that 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. Rawluk is 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 piqued my curiosity on the subject. He elaborates in the following.

First, one of the many... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/06/09  |  16 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (ADP), also known as Skunk Works, revealed new information about their hypersonic technologies. Specifically, they discussed the successor to the SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. The SR-72 is a strike and reconnaissance aircraft. The SR-72 tops Mach 6, and is currently in development within the advanced aircraft-development division. According to Lockheed Martin statements to Aviation Week, hypersonic technologies, including a combined cycle propulsion system that blends a rocket engine and a supersonic jet engine, are sufficiently advanced... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/06/09  |  17 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Jolene Creighton reported that governments around the globe are teaming with private companies in order to make asteroid mining a reality. Experts assert that we could be engaged in mining operations within the next decade. Here is a breakdown of how we will do it, and why we need develop these resources...albeit with all appropriate planning.

Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki asserts whether it is the air we breathe, the water we drink, the materials that we build things with, or ultimately, of course, the food that we eat, all of these things are available to us on this planet... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/29  |  33 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

This is an infographic on the various types of asteroids and the likely mining of some of them. Then, for additional information see the EMD Memoir 101: Energy-Mineral Resources for Human Settlement in the Solar System and Earth Future in Space:

http://www.i2massociates.com/downloads/Memoir101-T0fC2016.pdf
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/29  |  29 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Karla Lant reports that NASA is fast-tracking a planned trip to 16 Psyche, an asteroid that almost completely consists of nickel-iron metal, and probably platinum, cobalt, and other metals. The iron in 16 Psyche alone is estimated to be worth $10,000 quadrillion (at current market prices), if humans were able to bring it down to Earth, which sounds great, until you realize that the entire global economy is only worth $78 trillion. Injecting that much worth into the world economy would crash that metals market, in a totally different kind of asteroid impact than most people think about. Same wi... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/29  |  27 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Karla Lant reports that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen The Boeing Company to design and build its Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1), an unmanned, reusable space plane expected to improve national security by making low-cost, launch-on-demand access to space a reality.

If successful, the XS-1 project will give birth to a completely new kind of space plane, but many of its features would be reminiscent of an ordinary earthbound plane. About the size of a commercial jet airplane and powered exclusively by self-contained cryogenic propellants, the cra... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/26  |  23 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, in support of its mission to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.

Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/22  |  31 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Lunar Station is the newest entrant into the New Space private sector. Lunar Station has three objectives ...

First, bring a better understanding of the Moon surface via orbital reconnaissance,

Second, expand our understanding of the Moon resources from the lunar surface with landers and rovers, and

Third. deploy our Resource Processing Robots on the Moon surface to gather, process and supply resources for others.

Lunar Station is strategically focused on being the water and air vendor of choice for upcoming manned missions to the Moon. We are li... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/22  |  27 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) is a unique forum where the governments of 30 democracies work together to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of globalization.

The OECD is also at the forefront of efforts to understand and to help governments
respond to new developments and concerns, such as corporate governance, the
information economy and the challenges of an ageing population. The Organisation
provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to
common problems, identify g... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/22  |  31 Report Broken   Tell A Friend

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

Each year, Spinoff highlights NASA technologies that are benefiting life on Earth in the form of commercial products. They have profiled nearly 2,000 spinoffs since the publication began in 1976.

Spinoff profiles NASA technologies that have transformed into commercial products and services. About 50 spinoff technologies are featured annually in the publication, demonstrating the wider benefits of U.S. investment in its space program.

Spinoff is available online in multiple digital formats, and print copies are distributed to the public and to politicians, representatives ... More →
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Find Out More »  |  Open Resource  |  2017/05/22  |  27 Report Broken   Tell A Friend
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