Jump to content

Steelworks of Saturn


Recommended Posts

Do we know many metals are in the outer solar system? eg the gas giants, Pluto, their moons and the Kuiper belt? 

Or can someone point to some easily intelligible layman's literature.

I'm thinking that if human beings were living there, they'd need to mine metals to make their own stuff.

Cheerz

GIAN 🙂

Edited by Gian
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t think any humans live there, and mining on Jupiter and Saturn for use elsewhere would be moot since you couldn’t get a rocket out of their gravity well with our current technology. Rockets leaving earth are mostly fuel, with a little payload. Bump the escape velocity up a little, and it’s no-go.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IIRC,  the gas giants are metal-poor,  anyway.   The rocky planets, and asteroids,  are better sources of metal.   Asteroids are ideal,  with plenty of metal,  and low-impulse required for hoisting out of their microgravity.   

For a beginner to the topic, I think Neil DeGrasse Tyson has an intro to asteroid mining somewhere in his blogs that's clearly written. 

Edited by TheVat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Gian said:

Do we know many metals are in the outer solar system? eg the gas giants, Pluto, their moons and the Kuiper belt? 

$10,000 quadrillion asteroid Psyche?

By the way, you can’t (at present) put a true price on objects such as asteroids. But many have tried to estimate the worth of asteroid Psyche, with its metal-rich composition. One estimate suggests the massive, metal-rich object is worth $10,000 quadrillion (that’s 15 more zeroes), more than the entire economy of Earth. https://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-psyche-metal-or-rubble-pile/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, beecee said:

Space mining is still a dream at this stage, but the Asteroid belt and Kuiper belt would be promising places to look, when we have the technology.

There was a company called "Planetary Resources" but I believe that was bought out and/or made defunct in 2018.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_Resources

Thanks 🙂

1 hour ago, SergUpstart said:

$10,000 quadrillion asteroid Psyche?

By the way, you can’t (at present) put a true price on objects such as asteroids. But many have tried to estimate the worth of asteroid Psyche, with its metal-rich composition. One estimate suggests the massive, metal-rich object is worth $10,000 quadrillion (that’s 15 more zeroes), more than the entire economy of Earth. https://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-psyche-metal-or-rubble-pile/

Does her composition give psyche a magnetic field?

7 hours ago, beecee said:

Space mining is still a dream at this stage, but the Asteroid belt and Kuiper belt would be promising places to look, when we have the technology.

There was a company called "Planetary Resources" but I believe that was bought out and/or made defunct in 2018.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_Resources

Thanks 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a catalogue of over half a million asteroids with financial estimates. They are approximate not only because of technological limitations and uncertainties, but also economic (as the Spanish found when they plundered all that gold and silver from the Americas, flooding European markets).

I don't think much is known of Psyche's magnetic properties. SpaceX will be launching a NASA craft there next year, should rendezvous 2026, and will carry a magnetometer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, SergUpstart said:

$10,000 quadrillion asteroid Psyche?

By the way, you can’t (at present) put a true price on objects such as asteroids. But many have tried to estimate the worth of asteroid Psyche, with its metal-rich composition. One estimate suggests the massive, metal-rich object is worth $10,000 quadrillion (that’s 15 more zeroes), more than the entire economy of Earth. https://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-psyche-metal-or-rubble-pile/

I assume that would be the value FOB.

On a CIF basis the value would be considerably less. I wonder if it would even have any +ve value after shipment cost is factored in.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, exchemist said:

I assume that would be the value FOB.

On a CIF basis the value would be considerably less. I wonder if it would even have any +ve value after shipment cost is factored in. 

I believe that the delivery of metals from asteroids to Earth will never be profitable, the only exception may be Uranium 235. But this does not exclude the use of metals from asteroids in the future. It will be possible to fly there with equipment and build spaceships on the spot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, exchemist said:

I assume that would be the value FOB.

On a CIF basis the value would be considerably less. I wonder if it would even have any +ve value after shipment cost is factored in.   

That's a missing piece in many discussions about life in space. What resources are you expending to attain your goal?

 

15 hours ago, swansont said:

I don’t think any humans live there, and mining on Jupiter and Saturn for use elsewhere would be moot since you couldn’t get a rocket out of their gravity well with our current technology. Rockets leaving earth are mostly fuel, with a little payload. Bump the escape velocity up a little, and it’s no-go.

 

Here's a paper that concludes that anything bigger than 10 earth masses requires an unreasonably large rocket

For a classical Apollo moon mission (45 t), the rocket would need to be considerably larger,  400,000t. This is of order the mass of the Pyramid of Cheops, and is probably a realistic limit for chemical rockets regarding cost constraints.

(this is for Kepler-20b, at 9.7 earth masses)

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.04727.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

The comets and asteroids that are potentially the most hazardous because they can closely approach the Earth are also the objects that could be most easily exploited for their raw materials. It is not presently cost effective to mine these minerals and then bring them back to Earth. However, these raw materials could be used in developing the space structures and in generating the rocket fuel that will be required to explore and colonize our solar system in the twenty-first century.

Whereas asteroids are rich in the mineral raw materials required to build structures in space, the comets are rich resources for the water and carbon-based molecules necessary to sustain life. In addition, an abundant supply of cometary water ice could provide copious quantities of liquid hydrogen and oxygen, the two primary ingredients in rocket fuel. It seems likely that in the next century when we begin to colonize the inner solar system, the metals and minerals found on asteroids will provide the raw materials for space structures and comets will become the watering holes and gas stations for interplanetary spacecraft.

https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/about/nea_resource.html

I think the market speculations about metals, and "asteroid trillionaires" are all pretty questionable,  given what happens when something rare suddenly becomes plentiful.  

More rare earths would sure be handy,  though.   If we're going to build lots of wind turbines in a shift to renewables,  a neodymium rich asteroid would be saving us from a supply bottleneck.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, exchemist said:

I assume that would be the value FOB.

On a CIF basis the value would be considerably less. I wonder if it would even have any +ve value after shipment cost is factored in.   

Keep thinking might work out if we do swaps. Maybe create a KE/PE Market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try to find an asteroid that has water-ice and the metals and materials you need for subsistence living on the asteroid.  Attach to the asteroid a centrifuge for living in artificial gravity.  Get to work excavating resources.  Then after it is hollowed out enough you can build living quarters inside and start the asteroid spinning to get some artificial gravity for living inside the asteroid, sheltered from cosmic rays.

Edited by Airbrush
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.