Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Orion's Asteroid Architecture has an article about Orion hardware for a human flight to an asteroid. I prefer sending humans to a NEO (preferably a CC type that contains plenty of volatile elements) over sending them to Luna or Mars.
“There are many asteroids that have very low relative velocities with respect to Earth,” Lu observed. Identifying an “ideal” NEO is one that’s both slow moving and comes close to Earth – sort of a match made in heaven.

“Those are easy targets,” Lu said. They wouldn’t require a lot of rocket oomph to rendezvous with, he said.

Since asteroids have very low gravity (you can actually jump with enough force to escape the gravty well altogether on many asteroids), not much fuel would be needed for a return trip back to Earth.
Burrows said that resource mining in the distant future is part of that learning process.
Distant future? Why leave asteroid mining to the distant future? Just what do they mean by "distant future" when they talk about a human mission to an asteroid in 2020? Why not start as soon as you get there? By 2020, fabbers should be cheap and small enough to easily bring on such a trip based upon what fabbers are able to do today.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm. Doesn't getting into near Earth orbits require almost as much dv as getting to the moon (almost escape velocity from LEO)?