Mini Asteroid Mining

There is an update on mini-asteroid and optical space mining at the NASA NIAC virtual meeting.

Apis™ is a breakthrough mission and flight system architecture designed to revolutionize NASA’s human exploration of deep space and to enable massive space industrialization and human settlement. Apis™ is enabled by Public Private Partnership (PPP) and a series of inventions including the Optical Mining™ method of asteroid resource harvesting, the Omnivore™ solar thermal thruster, and a spacecraft architecture that uses highly concentrated sunlight as a far lighter, less expensive, and higher performing alternative to electric power in space.

Optical Mining™ technology uses concentrated light to excavate and extract propellant feedstocks from volatile rich asteroids, moons, and planetary surfaces. The Apis™ mission architecture enables massive cost reduction for deep space human exploration within a decade

6 thoughts on “Mini Asteroid Mining”

  1. NASA, according to its program, which was described above, is going to select a small asteroid (only about 7-10 meters in diameter), which is located near the Earth, and redirect it to the Moon. There is also an alternative plan – to split the larger asteroid in two and send the smaller one to the Moon.

  2. I kind of hope asteroid mining or space mining in general will jumpstart space exploration just like medieval ship exploration was fuelled by greed and looking for shorter ways to import goods.

    Also id like for it to happen before we actually start running out of stuff on earth

  3. Exciting. Unclear where the extracted mineral goes when the Mini Bee returns to 'resting?' orbit. Can it dump, leave concentrate in secure orbit, and move on to the next target?

  4. Yeah, Nike made shoes like that. Don't think they caught on, perhaps because you had to charge them. Seems like they might make a go of something more mechanical – pull a (self-retracting) cord to tighten, hit a button to release the tension.

    I'd think the robotic zipper might have problems of fouling, similar to what happens when stuff gets in the zipper of a zip-lock baggie.

  5. Always good to see more inflatable stuff pushing up the TRL.

    That robotic zipper is kinda interesting though for general commercial needs. Remember the self lacing shoes from Back-to-the-Future?

  6. I'm glad to see attention paid to *small astronomical* objects. The stuff we can deal with is too small to see usually. We don't need very much, compared to what is avail, unlike on planets.

Comments are closed.