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Google, The Asteroid Mining Company

Updated on October 9, 2013

We Are Open For Business

Open For Business. This reminds me of a scene from Babylon 5.
Open For Business. This reminds me of a scene from Babylon 5. | Source

21st Century Job Title - Space Nut

Some controversy is at play as the media suggest that competitive business tactics may have entered the Asteroid Mining Industry. Hopefully, this advent will result in more jobs becoming available in 2014 and 2015 than previously expected. It could spur the Aerospace Industry into more rapid and expansive success in the private sector.

The Google backed Planetary Resources company was opened in November, 2010 with some big names on board that included James Cameron (Avatar) as well as Google execs and others. At the same time that the Google LunarX Prize was set to launch its first moon lander robots in early 2013, a second asteroid mining company opened in America. It is called Deep Space Industries (DSI) and its website evokes ghosts of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

At the same time, Planetary Resources has job openings for "Space Nuts." If you'd like to apply, click here- SPACE NUT.

The company explains that it is looking to hire many people during 2013 that have training and expertise in mechanical, aerospace, electrical and computer sciences; as well as astronomy, business, fabrication, geology, legal, mining, materials, optics, planetary science, physics, and several others. No matter what happens otherwise, companies like Planetary Resource will need healthcare practitioners trained in Space Medicine, but they have not thought of that yet.

These types of mining projects will require long-term living and working in less-than earth gravity and some healthcare will be attached to that. A team of ISS astronauts is set to spend an entire year at the space station in order to fiind out what really happens to us long-term out in space at low gravity.

From DS9 to DSI

DSI lists nine partners at this time, one being the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Its Board Members amount to a Hall of Fame in the Aerospace Industry.

The Chairman is Stuart Witt, who operates the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. He has at least 16 solid years of experience in military and provate aviation and aeronautics, with a long list of notable credentials and awards.

Another Board Officer is eric Anderson, Chairman also of Space Adventures LTD., which offers a menue oif space tourism options that include eightless semi-orbital flights, travels to the International Space Station, and even trips to the moon.

The other Board Officers, including Gwynne Shotwell, President of the successful SpaceX company, give the impression that the company cannot fail. Many of the companies represented are among the NASA Commercial Crew.

Companies 3,000 Miles Apart

A
Planetary Resources, 93 South Jackson St. Seattle WA:
93 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104, USA

get directions

B
Deep Space Industries, McLean VA:
McLean, VA, USA

get directions

No street address found.

Mojave Space Port, Open For Business

A
Mojave Space Port; Commercial Spaceflight Federation Chairman:
Mojave Air & Space Port (MHV), 1434 Flight Line, Mojave, CA 93501, USA

get directions

Star Trek Squared

DSI plans to keep the raw materials they mine in space to process and use as fuel and spare parts for satellites.This will far undercut the costs of bringing asteroid related resources back to earth, according to their plans that were announced in late January 2013.

Planetary Resources announced their mining plan back in April 2012. Planetary Resources will begin soon by building, launching and operating small telescopes in Earth orbit to look for good asteroids to mine.However, some media pundits and scientists state that no asteroids are close enough.

DSI wans to find all the asteroids that exist, use them for fuel, and prevent them from striking earth. Deep Space Industries plans to use cheap off-the-shelf NonoSat and CubeSat spacecraft to probe asteroids for potential mining. Two of their programs include Firefly and Dragonfly spacecraft and they really do look like insects. There is a Firefly patch as well, just like all the NASA mission patches of the past. It depicts a large firefly scientist in the center, holding a telescope and a sextant.

DSI first Firefly launch date is sometime in 2015, with fuel projected for use in 2020. Meanwhile, the Google LunarX project will land on the moon in 2013. Luna may make a good base for asteroid mining operations. If DSI can use 3D printers to manufacture equipment, so can Google and Planetary Resources.

Science Fiction As Inspiration

The similarities in the US Private Space Program to Star Trek® overall are becoming overwhelming. The satus could be as stated in 1986 in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -

When Scotty and Doctor McCoy traded the formula for clearsteel to a plexiglass manufacture in California for a sheet of the tough plastic large enough to build an aquarium for whales, the Trek men wondered about the Prime Directive and how they were changing history.

McCoy suddenly said, "How do we know he didn't invent it [clearsteel] ?" Problem solved.

TRIVIA

Another eerie Trek fact is that Alexander Courage, the great musical score writer for much of Trek, also wrote for the early television show Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin. Gene Rodenberry was not involved, but what was the name of the riverboat? - Enterprise.

The original Trek series even had an episode about a mining colony in space...

The Las Vegas Hilton's "Star Trek: The Experience", now closed and very much missed.
The Las Vegas Hilton's "Star Trek: The Experience", now closed and very much missed. | Source

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Supposedly the revolving station was on the drafting board of NASA, but who knows for sure in 2013? I don;t know much about the MIR astronauts and wonder how bad a shape they were in after a year.

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Is the revolving gravity station based on science I wonder? Have to look into it. Might not be if they have to experiment on guys to see what effects of a year in space would have on them. Didn't the Mir cosmonauts sepend a year or more in space? Wonder how that worked out--maybe Russia didn't share about it. Have to look into it. I have marginally researched a few science fiction stories based on effects on humans as a side bar story. Someday I'll get to it...Love your topics!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      If they'd only build one of those circular and revolving space stations that create gravity, like we used to see on Walt Disney's TV program and in 2001: a Space Oddysey, it would be all fixed up. As it is, humans may yet turn to jelly in space, what with calcium leeched from bones and atrophy of muscles. I wonder what shape the ISS astronauts will be in after a full year in space, which is an upcoming mission. Could be scary. I still might go, though.

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yes--I'm hoping the problems of living in space, such as bone density loss from living in zero-geavity, can be overcome. I'd go in a heartbeat.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hi ajwrites! -- Good idea about Helium-3 and I think Homer Hickam wrote about that, too, in Back to the Moon. I'll have to watch the film you mention though, because I've not yet seen it, so thanks for the tip. Lunar mining is probably more practical, as you say - closer to Earth, at least, and a shorter trip timewise. Exciting, isn't it?

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I'm a space nut but I wouldn't qualify for any of thise jobs! I think lunar mining is more practical. They should watch "Moon" with Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey before they go--for some tips. Helium 3 is abundant on the moon--probably on asteroids, too. Even though it would be expensive to mine and transport back to earth, it might be cheaper and cleaner to use. Scientists are experiencing a shortage of helium 3. These companies need to hurry up and get going! Heck ya Patty--I'd go!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hey, Everybody - Thanks for the new comments! I'd go up in space now, but not back in the 1980s. How about you?

    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 

      5 years ago from USA

      Wow. That's fascinating. I was a scifi junkie, so this stuff makes my eyes get all big, like..."Dramatic SciFi Junkie..." lol

      Hard to believe this kinda stuff is actually in the works in my own lifetime.

      Awesome hub, Patty

    • kesinee profile image

      Sranunta Lamduan 

      5 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      I love your article about space mining. It's scientific mixed with fantasy but who knows one day in the very near future, this business will be one of the most innovative one. As we, human, have consumed most of natural resources on this planet, so the new resources from alien planets might be the best solution for us all. Cheers Cheers!!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      drjb - Oh no - Miners in Chains, a cult classic! :)

      Ericdierker - The next two years should be grand excitment, I think.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting, thank you

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      I have viewed a number of films, Patty, about a penal colony in space, so a mining colony would be lots more productive! :)

      Just had a thought - what about a penal colony where the prisoners do the back-breaking mining? Just suggestin'.

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