Video: Peter Diamandis Talks About Asteroid Mining

Peter Diamandis talks about his lifelong dream of becoming an asteroid miner. Is this a hint of what he will announce next week when Planetary Resources is unveiled in Seattle?

  • Fat Purtatur

    So have you seen the shark feeding frenzy on PJ Media where they published a hit piece on Elon Musk, painting SpaceX as a Solyndra-type waste of money (probably because they are anticipating a launch failure for the next mission)? PJ Media promised more muckraking against the space startups in the future.

    Why are Republicans not supporting free enterprise? It’s totally upside down and insane. There are even commenters in the thread who are saying that since Google is involved, this asteroid mining thing must be a left-wing venture and they would oppose it should Romney win.

  • Michael Turner

    “setting up a city on the ocean floor”? Well, if a city can be uninhabited …

  • warshawski

    Not cities but un-manned sub sea processing facilities mainteined by by replacing plug in modules using remote operated vehicles.
    This vision is what is needed for us to break free of single planet existance.

  • dr

    Couple of points.
    1) Mine the moon first, before we go chasing after asteroids….
    2) Leave no mess. A cloud of dust / debris being left behind after an asteroid had been mined would be horrifically dangerous for any spaceships passing through the area at a few kilometres per second or even a few tens of kilometres per second at a later date. Either the entire asteroid should be mined and transported for processing / sale, or we need to find a way of reconstituting the rubbish eg. turning it into a glass type substance, so that a single smaller new asteroid would remain that could be tracked and therefore avoided. Space junk will be an increasingly major potential issue the more that we do off Earth.

  • Paul451

    “1) Mine the moon first, before we go chasing after asteroids…”

    Why? If they can make the case for asteroids, why not do asteroids? The problem with moon mining is it would be hijacked by manned moon-base obsessives, that would then be hijacked by the NASA Primes to justify their favourite BFR, which would be whittled back by funding to flags’n’footprints MkII, whatever satisfies the bare requirement of “going to the moon”. See VSE/Constellation/SLS.

    Asteroids, being inherently unsexy (judging by the hatred the Obama proposal invoked in the space community), will be less prone to being hijacked. And once you have a regular infrastructure from asteroid mining, doing a moon mission (even a manned moon mission) will be much much easier, since most of the hardware will be dual-use.

    (I dislike Mars colonisation/terraforming for the same reason. Colonise asteroids first and you’ll probably get Mars colonisation as a side-effect, colonise Mars first and that’s all you will ever get.)

    “2) Leave no mess. A cloud of dust / debris being left behind after an asteroid had been mined would be horrifically dangerous for any spaceships passing through the area at a few kilometres per second”

    In LEO or GEO, yes, I can see this. For on-site processing? No. Interplanetary space is big. Vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big. And every comet that has ever passed our way has spat dust and crap all over the local sky, at our worst we’d only be adding a tiny fraction to that. And like comets, debris from asteroid-mining will be mostly confined to the asteroid’s orbit. Indeed, most will just settle back to form a new, smaller asteroid.

    (The majority of asteroids seem to be big piles of rubble and dust anyway. Extract the good stuff and you’re left with… big piles of rubble and dust.)

  • Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth an artist/scientist collaboration recently acquired by the Brooklyn Museum for their artist book collection. Biosphere Extension is a compilation of five years of work as NASA consultants and faculty fellows.

    C Bangs worked as an artist Faculty Fellow at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama in the summers of 2001-2004. Dr. Greg Matloff worked as a space scientist at the same facility during the summers of 1999-2004 as a consultant and Faculty Fellow and then in January-April 2007 as a consultant on asteroid diversion.

    We have collaborated on nine books published by Wiley and Springer as well as on our most recent self published Biosphere Extension.

    C Bangs is a mid-career artist whose work has been exhibited Nationally as well as Internationally.

    Greg Matloff is a Haydin Associate at American Museum of Natural History , a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, and a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He is also an Associate Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Associate Professor in Astronomy and Physics at New York City College of Technology (CUNY).

    The YouTube link Greg narrates a chapter summary with C’s images: Selections of the book are available on C Bangs website.

    Here is a the DVD for our book, Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth.