Asteroid Mining: Asteroid Mining Robert Dyck
Ardeco Aerospace Profit: Profit Money drives the economy
Money represents use of resources, every investment must have positive return
Government also invests in ventures that return profit
Aerospace returns more tax dollars than NASA budget
Colonization of space must be funded by near-term profit Commodities profitable now: Commodities profitable now Terrestrial high value, scarce resources
Low mass high value, worth transportation cost
Precious metals, especially platinum group metals
Plantinum required for fuel cells, cars will need them
Resource usable in space now
No transport cost, replaces current high launch cost
Rocket fuel, satellite & spacecraft
Not Lunar 3He, fusion reactor doesn’t exist and once invented will use deuterium from tap water. 3 point trade route: 3 point trade route
Near Earth: Near Earth 3439 known NEAs
Many asteroids in main belt, and big, but too far.
NEA less fuel round trip than the Moon M-type asteroid: M-type asteroid Iron asteroids contain:
Metal, crystalline iron-nickel alloy, not an oxide mineral.
Up to 30% mineral inclusions, select one with 10%
Often >90% iron
Average: 88% Fe, 10 Ni, 0.5% Co
Silver & gold follow iron
PGM follow nickel
Select high Ni for platinum Processing: Processing Grind to consistency of iron filings
Centrifuge, electromagnet remove while spinning
Leave mineral inclusions behind
Mond process, convert ferrous metals to vapour
CO under pressure, ~200°C converts to carbonyl
Decompose carbonyl into metal & CO with more heat
Different temperature/pressure for Fe, Ni, Co
Precious metal concentration: Precious metal concentration example asteroid: 68% iron, 30% nickel, 0.5% cobalt
Before removing ferrous metal: (ppm)
Ru 21, Rh 3.9, Pd 15, Os 16, Ir 14,Pt 27, Ag 0.51, Au 0.48
Ru 1400, Rh 260, Pd 1000, Os 1066, Ir 933, Pt 1800, Ag 33, Au 32
Concentrate in US measure: (troy ounces/ton)
Pt 52.5, Au 0.93
concentrate much richer than richest ore on Earth
Concentration easy to achieve. Industrial metals: Industrial metals Boron
Lead Transportation: Transportation Reusable/refuelled unmanned freighter
Drop precious metal bullion in inconel capsule
Genesis demonstrated no soft landing system necessary
Bullion refined anyway
Maple seed shape autorotates C-type: C-type Harvest water for LH2/LOX rocket fuel
Harvest CO & H2 for Mond @ M-type asteroid
Transport as dry ice & water ice
Ignore the rest
Spike on each leg to hold onto asteroid solid rocket to drive it in Drill for dirty water: Drill for dirty water Pebbles embedded in clay, gypsum, salts, tar, and ice
Drill with a hollow pipe just as oil rig.
Once down, heat drill head to melt ice.
Ice will sublimate to steam, but reform ice around sleeve.
Pressure above 6.13 mbar will support liquid water.
Hot water with mud will blow up pipe.
Steam pressure pushes water, no pumps.
Sleeve permits drillling deeper when dry.
Solar panels power heater, drill motor, processing. Processing: Processing Filter water with course, fine, ultrafine, and reverse osmosis
Proton transport membrane electrolysis (reverse fuel cell)
Semipermeable membrane passes H2, leaves water
Cryo-pump gas, store liquid H2/O2
Pass mud to oven, burn with O2 gas decompose tar into CO2 & H2O
Platinum catalyst ensures complete combustion
Smipermeable membrane separates CO2 & H2O leave O2 and uncombusted hydrocarbons in oven
Recycle H2O to electrolysis cell, freeze CO2 to dry ice
Dump baked mud bricks on asteroid surface (tailings)