Author Topic: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining  (Read 35387 times)

Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #80 on: 09/24/2017 12:43 PM »
PGM extraction would be by product of iron and other metals extraction. Its not worth mining on its own. In case of asteriods the iron be used for in space construction.

On Mars as on asteroids, iron and nickel could be used for construction, yes.  Invar is one potentially useful ISRU alloy: size-invariant, cryogenic and corrosion-resistant. 

Iron, nickel, PGMs and gold would be obtained on Mars from the very same ore that you've been talking about previously, just in context of free-flying asteroids.  And the separation could be done more easily on Mars.

You were keen on extraction of PGMs and gold from asteroids or the Moon.  So why not Mars?

Quote from: TrevorMonty
For high value metals like gold and platinum, they could be returned to earth in reusable 2nd stage.  ... the metals can be delivered to LEO on water/fuel tanker as secondary payload. A 1t gold would take up very little space in 2nd stage but could add a few $M to mission profit for normally unprofitable return leg.
« Last Edit: 09/24/2017 01:52 PM by LMT »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #81 on: 09/24/2017 06:39 PM »
PGM as means of supplementing colony income make sense,  but I doubt it will ever be profitable on its own. The upfront costs for 2way transport system, which requires ISRU fuel and large mining infrastucture would cost $10-100B. At around $50M tonne its going take 100s of tonnes to break even.

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Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #82 on: 09/24/2017 09:13 PM »
The upfront costs for 2way transport system, which requires ISRU fuel and large mining infrastucture would cost $10-100B.

Is that $100B with Omaha Trail, or $10B with Omaha Crater, or...?   

Each component of the Omaha system would improve efficiency, and lower cost.

What are your assumptions there?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #83 on: 09/25/2017 02:36 AM »
Asteriod mining still has less up front costs compared to Mars and Moon especially as transport doesn't need rocket powered landers which require production of  LH/LOX. Thermally heated water by sunlight is enough, lower ISP but DV requirements are lower. Water can extracted from same asteriod as metal.

In case of moon if polar ISRU extraction of water is commercially viable then adding gold extraction is not as expensive as starting from scratch.

It all comes down to transport costs which ISRU water extraction should lower by factor or 2.

Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #84 on: 09/25/2017 03:30 AM »
Asteriod mining still has less up front costs... Thermally heated water by sunlight is enough...

In the main belt, sunlight is only about 10% of Earth's flux, or ~140 W/m2.  So what scale of solar-powered infrastructure would you have to deploy there, to extract water in bulk, purify it, store it, heat it, and use it as propellant for Earth-return?  It would be infrastructure at a rather significant scale, I'd think.  And that's apart from the zero-g infrastructure required to extract and separate commercially valuable metals.

And remember, some up-front costs for Mars infrastructure are being borne by other organizations, for reasons and goals of their own.  We don't add those costs to the mining bill.

In case of moon... adding gold extraction is not as expensive as starting from scratch.

The lunar surface has fewer HSEs than Earth's, and the martian surface, more.  That's why the Moon is a poor prospect, and Mars, a good one.

"A colossal impact enriched Marsí mantle with noble metals"

It all comes down to transport costs which ISRU water extraction should lower by factor or 2.

On carbonaceous volatile-rich bodies like Deimos, one can extract methalox propellant as well.  Are you familiar with Zubrin's work in that area?  We noted his Pioneer Astronautics' CAVoR research in the Omaha Trail joint presentation at ISEC 2017

« Last Edit: 09/25/2017 03:59 AM by LMT »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #85 on: 09/25/2017 04:52 AM »
In the main belt, sunlight is only about 10% of Earth's flux, or ~140 W/m2.  So what scale of solar-powered infrastructure would you have to deploy there, to extract water in bulk, purify it, store it, heat it, and use it as propellant for Earth-return?  It would be infrastructure at a rather significant scale, I'd think.

One would hope you could build that infrastructure out there from local materials, and then it'd be an exponential expansion of capability.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Paul451

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #86 on: 09/25/2017 09:30 AM »
And the separation could be done more easily on Mars.

Care to elaborate?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #87 on: 09/25/2017 10:19 AM »
The DSI and PR are targetting NEA not belt asteriods. NEA orbits intersect earth's on regular basis, every few months or years they comeback around at which time water or metal is returned to cislunar space.

As for lunar gold there is theory that gold dust has accumulated in polar craters, dust is carried by electrostatic charge until drops out at poles. If correct it could be profitable byproduct of lunar water extraction especially at $40M tonne. Transport costs from poles to EML1 should be lot less than $40M if water extraction is ever going to be viable.

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Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #88 on: 09/25/2017 11:53 AM »
And the separation could be done more easily on Mars.

Care to elaborate?

See the OEMF2017 presentation for an intro.

Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #89 on: 09/25/2017 12:05 PM »
The DSI and PR are targetting NEA not belt asteriods.

I know.  If you limit asteroid prospects to NEAs, it's slim pickings.  There is no known NEA equivalent to 16 Psyche, for example.

As for lunar gold there is theory that gold dust has accumulated in polar craters, dust is carried by electrostatic charge until drops out at poles. If correct it could be profitable byproduct...

That idea (ref?) doesn't square with the lunar survey results to date.  No commercial HSEs are present near the lunar surface, apparently.

Offline Paul451

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #90 on: 09/25/2017 03:38 PM »
And the separation could be done more easily on Mars.
Care to elaborate?
See the OEMF2017 presentation for an intro.

Nothing you've linked to justifies your assertion.

Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #91 on: 09/25/2017 04:17 PM »
And the separation could be done more easily on Mars.
Care to elaborate?
See the OEMF2017 presentation for an intro.

Nothing you've linked to justifies your assertion.

Sure it does.  Manned operation under planetary gravity makes aqueous separation chemistry far easier.  See esp. the ISS ECLSS history.  Relevant, yes?

Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #92 on: 09/25/2017 05:27 PM »
In the main belt, sunlight is only about 10% of Earth's flux, or ~140 W/m2.  So what scale of solar-powered infrastructure would you have to deploy there, to extract water in bulk, purify it, store it, heat it, and use it as propellant for Earth-return?  It would be infrastructure at a rather significant scale, I'd think.

One would hope you could build that infrastructure out there from local materials, and then it'd be an exponential expansion of capability.

Well, in that case you'd need a solar-panel factory to build solar panels for the solar-powered water factory.

And to run the solar-panel factory, you'd need solar power.

At 140 W/m2, what's the scale of solar panels for that factory?  That is, the scale of panels etc. that must be shipped from Earth.

Here again it's infrastructure at a rather significant scale, I'd think.

« Last Edit: 09/25/2017 05:34 PM by LMT »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #93 on: 09/25/2017 05:48 PM »
And the separation could be done more easily on Mars.
Care to elaborate?
See the OEMF2017 presentation for an intro.

Nothing you've linked to justifies your assertion.

Sure it does.  Manned operation under planetary gravity makes aqueous separation chemistry far easier.  See esp. the ISS ECLSS history.  Relevant, yes?
Here link to Warrens lunar gold theory thread. Needs rover with right sensors to prove it one way or another.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31377.0


Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #94 on: 09/25/2017 06:07 PM »


The DSI and PR are targetting NEA not belt asteriods.

I know.  If you limit asteroid prospects to NEAs, it's slim pickings.  There is no known NEA equivalent to 16 Psyche, for example.

With over million NEAs, there is no need to go asteriod belt.

Extracting and processing metal from regolith is easier than from likes of Psyche.   Most ore processing starts by crush material then sorting, with regolith asteriods have done it for us.

Water extraction from same asteriod as metal is just as important. Without water there is no propulsion to return metal to market place.

Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #95 on: 09/25/2017 06:30 PM »
Quote from: TrevorMonty
Here link to Warrens lunar gold theory thread. Needs rover with right sensors to prove it one way or another.

Thanks, but his hypothesis really is inconsistent with the results of the actual lunar survey, which would have detected any such concentration near the surface.  No rover required; not for that.

The linked report is a fairly comprehensive overview from 2014.

Quote
"it is difficult to identify any single lunar resource that is likely to be sufficiently valuable to drive a lunar resource extraction industry which has near-term profit as an objective..."

Offline LMT

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Mining NEMO
« Reply #96 on: 09/25/2017 07:59 PM »


The DSI and PR are targetting NEA not belt asteriods.

I know.  If you limit asteroid prospects to NEAs, it's slim pickings.  There is no known NEA equivalent to 16 Psyche, for example.

With over million NEAs, there is no need to go asteriod belt.

Extracting and processing metal from regolith is easier than from likes of Psyche.   Most ore processing starts by crush material then sorting, with regolith asteriods have done it for us.

Water extraction from same asteriod as metal is just as important. Without water there is no propulsion to return metal to market place.

It would be nice to find an NEA with commercial ore.  Preferably one big enough to justify the trouble.

Meanwhile, since a NEO has perihelion within 1.3 AU, and Mars perihelion is 1.38 AU, I suggest we designate Mars as a "Near-Earth Mostly Object" (NEMO).

If we apply this "NEMO" designation to Mars, we can start thinking of Mars as a Near-Earther, and reset our space-mining expectations accordingly.

All in favor?   :P
« Last Edit: 09/25/2017 08:24 PM by Lar »

Offline Lar

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #97 on: 09/25/2017 08:05 PM »

It would be nice to find an NEA with commercial ore.  Preferably one big enough to justify the trouble.

Meanwhile, since a NEO has perihelion within 1.3 AU, and Mars perihelion is 1.38 AU, I suggest we designate Mars as a "Near-Earth Mostly Object" (NEMO).

If we apply this "NEMO" designation to Mars, we can start thinking of Mars as a Near-Earther, and reset our space-mining expectations accordingly.

All in favor?   :P
(mod) Mars is not an asteroid. Please don't try to derail this thread.
(mod) The Moon is not an asteroid either. No more on lunar mining either, we have other threads for that.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2017 08:24 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Paul451

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #98 on: 09/26/2017 08:44 AM »
And the separation could be done more easily on Mars.
Care to elaborate?
See the OEMF2017 presentation for an intro.
Nothing you've linked to justifies your assertion.
Sure it does.  Manned operation under planetary gravity makes aqueous separation chemistry far easier.

Any drum-centrifuge would do the same job.

However, as I said, the material you linked to didn't support your assertion, it simply made the same assertion. Additionally, while further discussion of lunar mining has been deemed verboten, I did note that the reference you linked to about that also didn't support your assertion that the moon lacks siderophilic elements, quite the contrary. And these are perfect examples of your tendency to link-dump material and simply state that it disproves the other party, without actually referencing the relevant sections or explaining how it supports your case (especially when it usually turns out that it doesn't.)

It's not the reader's job to dig through a 40 page article to try to find what you are referring to.

Offline LMT

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Re: Goldman Sachs Report on Asteroid Mining
« Reply #99 on: 09/26/2017 12:25 PM »
Quote from: LMT
Manned operation under planetary gravity makes aqueous separation chemistry far easier.  See esp. the ISS ECLSS history.  Relevant, yes?

Quote from: Paul451
Any drum-centrifuge would do the same job.

It was the centrifuge that failed.

Again, relevant, yes?

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