What company wants to put 3D printers on asteroids and settle asteroids with mining equipment, robots, and miners? It's a newly-launched venture from Deep Space Industries (DSI) that announced today its new plans to mine asteroids to eventually create deep space colonies. Mining gold and platinum from asteroids in deep space is predicted to become a trillion dollar industry within a few years. But most likely it will take a decade to get the industry on its legs.
One new business, Deep Space Industries (DSI), announced today that it's ready to become the next generation of gold-diggers in space. In a way the new gold rush reminds some of California's gold-rush era of the mid 19th century or even the movie, Gold Diggers of 1933 - "We're in the Money" - YouTube. Then take a look at the Deep Space Industries video on You Tube.
When it comes to DSI, think of robots or humans digging for precious metals on asteroids out in deep space, and you have the image of how mining asteroids will take place in ten years or less, one way to obtain the ingredients for fuel or industrial components. After all, even obsolete computers when recycled, are claimed because they contain gold that can be recycled and other valuable parts.
The new start-up, Deep Space Industries (DSI) has detailed plans for mining asteroids in the next decade and eventually starting colonies in outer space. See, Deep Space Industries Home. Is deep space mining a healthy trend for the planet because it gives future generations a place to survive and thrive when the climate and other living conditions on Earth change?
Deep Space Industries (DSI) believes the human race is ready to begin harvesting the resources of space both for their use in space and to increase the wealth and prosperity of the people of planet Earth. If there's gold in asteroids, Earthlings will mine it, anywhere in space that's reachable. It lends a new name for spaced-out gold-diggers, who would actually be out in space mining for valuable natural treasures to be used in building or as fuel. DSI are explorers, harvesters, makers and suppliers.
Our world is at its limits, and yet we want more, for example, fuel or gold. Our tiny planet sits in a basket of resources located in deep space. Timing is everything. For space, that time is now. Wealthy investors are placing their bets on that idea. Harvesting and returning asteroid materials is the name of the new game.
Off-the-shelf components are re-engineered for deep space. Early markets will be satellites and fuel companies. DSI will be the gas station for air and water in the future. The long goal of DSI is to use asteroid space resources mined.
The frontier is coming. And our time is now, says the DSI video. In fact, less than a year after Planetary Resources announced its own plans to mine asteroids in space, DSI plans its own vision for zero-gravity resource extraction that goes one step further to include actually producing things in space using the company's "MicroGravity Foundry.
The new applied idea is a patent-pending breakthrough in 3D printers able to output complex metal components using a simple process with few moving parts., according to the January 22, 2013 C/Net news article by Eric Mack, "Mining asteroids to 3D-print space stations: Beyond pie in the sky?"
The goal is an efficient, inexpensive way to build a way to shuttle materials from Earth to outer space. The purpose is to further space exploration. In order to help space exploration, resources need a cheaper, more efficient, and quicker way to be extracted from asteroids than shuttling materials from Earth. Also see the article, Asteroid mining by 2020: Robo-ships to dig space rocks for gold.
The plan would be to send a robot into space with materials mining tools and a 3D printer. The robot mines material to feed into the 3D printer. Then the robot prints out the required number of completely built robots from a 3D printer that can make copies of objects such as robots. The printer is able to work with robots to build a smelter at the mouth of the mine. The smelter in turn has its own purpose, which is to build even bigger objects in space.
This is not another science fiction novel similar to Martian Chronicles. It's a real plan, and it's what Deep Space Industries (DSI) is working on right now. The CEO of DSI is David Gump. The plans are to make use of realistic facts about asteroids. For example, more than 900 new asteroids pass near Earth every year. The trick is to find them. A company wants its equipment to be near where it's needed. The goal is to use metals and fuel that are mined from asteroids to expand the industries operating in outer space. Also see, 'Armageddon'-like Asteroid Mining Project Hopes to Create Deep Space Colonies.
DSI refines asteroids for in-space markets
Check out DSI's latest press release. It's still going to ten about ten years to build "large communications platforms to replace communications satellites, and later solar power stations to beam carbon-free energy to consumers on Earth. As DSI refines asteroids for in-space markets, it also will harvest platinum group metals for terrestrial uses, such as pollution control devices." The goal is to begin building on the first asteroid-mounted satellite in only one decade. Who will make it happen faster?
You can check out other industries such as SpaceX that's able to dock with the International Space Station. And other industries will be stepping up to the platform of in-space markets as soon as the first gets going in the direction of actually mining asteroids and working with robots in outer space.
DSI plans to begin by launching small reconnaissance craft dubbed "Fire Fly" that will be put to work looking for asteroids to mine for the minerals and other precious chemicals in the rock. How it will work is that the Fire Flies look for specific types of asteroids. Then a larger craft known as a "Dragon Fly" is sent into outer space traveling about two to four years to mine valuable samples from the asteroid of up to 150 pounds back to Earth, according to the article, "Mining asteroids to 3D-print space stations: Beyond pie in the sky?"
The next step is to send into outer space the "Micro Gravity Foundries" which are industries that will mine asteroids into metal parts and fuel for other space missions. The goal of those foundries is to build new satellites and solar power stations. Humans need to learn how to live in outer space, perhaps on asteroids or other planets.
DSI's asteroid-mining plan also is known as the "Deep Space Mission." The goal seems to point to taking and harvesting any usable, valuable mineral, fuel, metal, gas, or chemical resources humans find in outer space, as if the land belonged only to humans from Earth. But does it? Who do asteroids belong to? The ultimate goal is the necessary expansion beyond Earth for the future of humanity. After all, the sun has a lifespan like anything else in the universe, and the Earth does go through periodic ice ages where glaciers cover those areas that now are big cities above a certain latitude.
The plans have to proceed one step at a time in order to make sure future generations have a place to go when Earth is no longer the best place to live. The time to begin preparations is now, while the climate is livable.
The DSI goal is to change "the worlds of tomorrow." Check out the company's press release to read the goals. But think again, what will humanity give back to outer space once it has mined the areas all around reachable space?
Or will the goal focus on further expansion into the infinity of space? And what happens when intelligent life forms from other planets want to mine the same asteroid or planet of similar chemicals, metals, precious gems, and minerals? Or will the asteroids be rocks similar to those on Earth and some ice? Then again, how does humanity deal with microbes on asteroids, other planets, or life in space?