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Re: starship-design: Private Asteroid Mining

In a message dated 9/11/97 2:11:19 AM, jimaclem@juno.com wrote:

>On Wed, 10 Sep 1997 09:56:36 -0700 wharton@physics.ucla.edu (Ken Wharton)
>>Here's some good news for near-term space development that I ran 
>>A small company unveiled plans today to launch the first private 
>>spacecraft to leave Earth's orbit, on a mission to visit a nearby
>>asteroid. A team of University of California, San Diego, students are 
>>working on the design of the Near Earth Asteroid Prospector (NEAP), 
>>which would be launched in 1999, says Jim Bensen, chair of Colorado-
>>based SpaceDev. The company hopes to turn a profit on the sale of data 
>>from the target asteroid, which will be chosen later and depends on 
>>exact launch date. 
>>Bensen is betting that his company can build and launch the spacecraft 
>>for under $50 million--a fraction of the cost of a typical NASA space 
>>science mission--and offer the resulting data to government agencies 
>>less than a government mission would cost. NEAP would carry a camera, 
>>proton spectrometer to determine the composition of the asteroid's 
>>surface, and a neutron spectrometer that could detect the presence of 
>>The ultimate goal of the company, he adds, is to mine nearby asteroids 
>>for precious metals and ancient comets for hydrogen and oxygen. These 
>>elements could be ferried to a low-Earth orbit and turned into 
>>and propellant for other missions. SpaceDev has raised nearly all of 
>>money needed to build the spacecraft from private investors, but 
>>declined to identify them.
>>(from www.sciencenow.org, 9/10/97)
>Now this sounds interesting.  Maybe we should start a list, or at least a
>discussion, on the requirements for getting all the materials we need for
>Jim C.

How to buld a starship, cheap.  ;)  Frankly anything we have here on earth is
prety plantifull in near earth or farther space.  How to process it
effectivly might be a better topic.  Or waht we would want to build out their
(and carry the ability to build at the destination, and what we'ld need to
build and launch to do it is a good topic to.