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>> No.10886487 [View]
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10886487

>>10886432
Asteroid mining could potentially save NASA over $300 billion dollars by mining propellant.
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/niac_sercel_phase_i_final_report_tagged.pdf
What makes it compelling is that a single Falcon 9 v 1.1 launch can provide 100 metric tons of water to cislunar space. This is about five times greater than the amount of payload a Falcon 9 can deliver to low earth orbit! Which is why NASA is funding development of a demonstration mission:
https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2019_Phase_I_Phase_II/Mini_Bee_Prototype/
What really makes propellant mining compelling is that the rocket equation itself. Mass ratio increases exponentially with the required delta V. Delta V requirements from asteroids/Moon are much less than from Earth, so significant savings are possible if we can extract propellant from them.

>> No.9608896 [View]
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9608896

The market for mined asteroid materials is basically non-existent right now. In the near term the only thing we're gonna be mining from asteroids are volatiles for satellite propellant. Problem is, even if we had the tech to make satellite propellant from asteroid materials, we don't have a way to refuel satellites. Satellite servicing has been demonstrated on the ISS, but we have yet to demonstrate the tech to dock with satellites that aren't designed to be docked with. Second, most satellites use hydrazine as propellant. While we can probably obtain water relatively easily in the near term, obtaining nitrogen is another story.

Another problem is that it's risky to launch such ventures right now because the expected market could cease to exist if commercial launch gets cheaper. If say BFR works, then there might not be much of a point in refueling satellites



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