Author Topic: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017  (Read 1835 times)

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Online Buster's Uncle

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Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« on: October 11, 2012, 07:50:01 PM »
Quote
Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
By Mike Wall | SPACE.com – 1 hr 20 mins ago.. .

 
A private space telescope mission that aims to discover 500,000 near-Earth asteroids is technically sound and on track for a 2017 launch, a review panel says.
 
The mission design and implementation plans for the Sentinel Space Telescope — which is being put together by the nonprofit B612 Foundation and its partner Ball Aerospace — are solid, according to the panel, which is called the Sentinel Special Review Team. 
 
"This is a major milestone in the development of Sentinel, and has validated the enormous amount of design and planning work that has already been carried out by Ball Aerospace," SSRT chair Tom Gavin said in a statement.
 
The SSRT is composed of 10 experts in the aerospace community, who met in Boulder, Co., from Sept. 11-13 to pore over Sentinel's mission design. One of the team's members is Orlando Figueroa, who leads the Mars Program Planning Group, which is helping NASA reformulate its Red Planet exploration plans.
 
The B612 Foundation plans to launch Sentinel in 2017 or so, placing the instrument near the orbit of Venus. Sentinel will look outward from there, scanning Earth's neighborhood without having to fight the sun's overwhelming glare — a serious impediment to asteroid-hunting instruments on or near our planet.
 
The telescope's infrared eyes should spot about 500,000 near-Earth asteroids in less than six years of operation, B612 officials say — quite a feat, considering that researchers have spotted just 10,000 or so such space rocks to date.
 
Sentinel's observations will help researchers identify asteroids that may pose a danger to Earth. And the telescope should spot others that could be targets for human exploration or mining activities  down the road, officials have said.
http://news.yahoo.com/private-asteroid-hunting-space-telescope-launch-2017-172422318.html

Ahh- and in the last line, it comes out that these guy are out in front of what I was on about two threads back, just as I suspected when I saw the headline.  That's their real motivation.

Offline Green1

Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 05:18:16 AM »
Well, I did hear a story a while back that there are these "rare earths" that are only available in select parts of the world. One such rare earth was needed in the production of Playstation 2s. It  caused a local civil war. All so people could play console games in more developed counries. You find a source of these rare earths, it is worth it even WITH the cost of having to have a space program.

The moon has them, too....

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Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 05:29:27 AM »
See, and aside from the economics of it, that would be hugely important strategically to any nation that isn't China.  Also, to China, which would invest considerable to protect its near-monopoly on rare earths.

Offline Green1

Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 05:44:25 AM »
Or.... beat everybody to it. Crush through economics the ability to mount such expeditions. China is playing some cards. We live in interesting times. It is not the massive "everybody board a rocket and live in space" thing, but interesting nonetheless. No one even in my daughters time is boarding a rocket without the treasury of a small city or 2 doctorates and spotless record on various databases going to be possibble.

...unless Dr De Gray succeed in SENS, but that is another topic.

I honestly can not wait till 2015 upwards. Things are going to go nuts. Only us space nerds even know what's coming is the funny thing.

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Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 06:04:08 AM »
There are definitely some promising things in the works.  Very exciting if some of them pan out.

This private space race stuf is winning me over, for instance.

Offline Green1

Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 06:10:14 AM »
It is winning a lot of us over. Like Uno said, this is going MUCH better than expected.

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Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 06:18:35 AM »
Yeah, its sorta a stupid Republican-type idea, and the budget cuts to NASA, pitiful as it may be, have still cost Bakrama my vote, but they've really impressed me - SpaceX, anyway.

Offline Green1

Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 06:30:37 AM »
I do not know, man. Have you ever worked for the government? I have. I was a contractor for the VA from 2007 to 2009 offering my services through a agency as a PCT for folks coming back from our latest round of wars. I found the atmosphere rife with egos, political "turfs", and politics. There is a reason all these places have unions - it is a poisonous atmosphere to change and innovation.

Thing that is messed up... you have to go through crap tons of drama to get in normally, but they will pay some cronie with connections mega cash to bring you in. NASA is no different. They pay USA, et al like the VA pays Maxim Healthcare, Southern, etd.

Plus the crap! I saw someone drop a vet and break his hip while using a lift talking on a cell phone! She got out by talking to the union and saying she never got inserviced. She kept her job. A private company does not have to deal with such BS. I am sure the same crap happens with NAySAy. In fact, I know.

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Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 06:49:38 AM »
There is that - our civilization is unmistakably in decline, and right there's the proof.  I can't stand the bullcrap going to the doctor's office.  No DMV, thank you, let alone VA.

But this is still like making excuses for GITMO still being open.  Spare me; there is no excuse.  Bakrama just don't like the space program, and I'll only vote if I think it's very close, and only to keep a republican out.

Offline Green1

Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 06:59:38 AM »
Space program being open is totally political. Most people care do not care about things that do not affect them directly and see it as a waste of money. Why care if only someone with 20 M or two doctorates and perfect credit and not even a misdemeanor can be wieghtless?

I say, and have said before, in Free Market, it is about jobs. Not only jobs - fulfilling roles and the possibility of getting them.

Obama is going to do this. Romney is going to do this. Bush started it. Nasa needs to be a regulatory authority and research authority. It will happen. Does not matter who you vote for.

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Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2012, 07:20:43 AM »
Screw 'im if he screws with NASA.

-I've put in too many 17-18 hour days in a row working on forum business, and it's late.  My brain hurts. :(

Offline Unorthodox

Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2012, 02:40:11 PM »
Well, I did hear a story a while back that there are these "rare earths" that are only available in select parts of the world. One such rare earth was needed in the production of Playstation 2s. It  caused a local civil war. All so people could play console games in more developed counries. You find a source of these rare earths, it is worth it even WITH the cost of having to have a space program.

The moon has them, too....

Rare Earth minerals/metals/whatever are actually a misnomer, and are quite common.
 
Tantalite (the mine in the congo that the PS2 supposedly caused a civil war, but it was more than just the ps2) is not a rare earth mineral.  It is, however,  rare, and is used to make transistors for just about everything.  Tantalite price presently is nowhere NEAR making asteroid mining economical. 

Palladium (also rare, but not a rare earth) MIGHT creep into economical range, but it would probably be more economoical to find a technology to extract it from nuclear waste. 

Offline Green1

Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 04:32:37 AM »
Well, I did hear a story a while back that there are these "rare earths" that are only available in select parts of the world. One such rare earth was needed in the production of Playstation 2s. It  caused a local civil war. All so people could play console games in more developed counries. You find a source of these rare earths, it is worth it even WITH the cost of having to have a space program.

The moon has them, too....

Rare Earth minerals/metals/whatever are actually a misnomer, and are quite common.
 
Tantalite (the mine in the congo that the PS2 supposedly caused a civil war, but it was more than just the ps2) is not a rare earth mineral.  It is, however,  rare, and is used to make transistors for just about everything.  Tantalite price presently is nowhere NEAR making asteroid mining economical. 

Palladium (also rare, but not a rare earth) MIGHT creep into economical range, but it would probably be more economoical to find a technology to extract it from nuclear waste. 

Probably so. But with the cost of getting to space dropping eventually, I do think that the whole asteroid mining thing is going to get serious. Particularly with some of these NEOs buzzing by. If not for use on Eath, it sure would be a lot cheaper to build stuff in situ than have to shoot everthing you need up there.

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Re: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 04:59:39 AM »
...And just the iron in a really big rock, less the, say, half-trillion overhead, and you still end with all the money in the world...

 

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