It was previously thought that small asteroids could be placed into a large bag and baked to get out water and other materials. Experiments performed by Transastra show that this would take too long and need too much energy.
They have found what does work is optical mining. 16 kilowatt light sources focused onto small areas can efficiently produce outgasing in lab tests. They have designed a lot of systems and engineering for robotic asteroid mining.
They have designed a larger system that would fit into a future SpaceX BFR.
If asteroids can provide water and fuel it would reduce the cost of large scale operations in space by four times. NASA could spend $100 billion over two decades using near earth space resources to get the same done as $400 billion where near earth resources were not used.
Brian Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
He has substantial familiarity with a broad range of breakthrough technologies like age reversal and antiaging, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, ocean tech, agtech, nuclear fission, advanced nuclear fission, space propulsion, satellites, imaging, molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, blockchain, crypto and many other areas.