Falcon Heavy Could Make Asteroid Mining a Reality

Space Miners

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy could facilitate a 21st century Gold Rush of sorts, only instead of heading west, these miners would search for valuable minerals and chemicals in space.

Asteroid Mining: Everything You Need to Know About Off World Resources
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Our solar system is filled with millions of asteroids, rocky worlds ranging in size from just a few feet across to hundreds of miles in diameter. For more than a century, humans have considered the possibility of mining asteroids, but the logistics have proven prohibitive.

The first step — landing on an asteroid — requires a craft that is powerful enough to switch between low-Earth orbit and orbit around the asteroid. According to Martin Elvis, an astronomer from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Falcon Heavy could be that craft.

He told an audience at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, that he believes Falcon Heavy has the potential to make asteroid mining a reality by increasing the number of asteroids we could potentially land on by a factor of 15. “Instead of a few hundred, we may have thousands of ore-bearing asteroids available,” said Elvis, according to Gizmodo.

Big Bucks

The potential value of the minerals in these asteroids is staggering.

The iron found in the asteroid 16 Psyche alone is worth an estimated $ 10 quintillion, and according to NASA, if we could extract all of the minerals in the asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, the total value would be enough to give every person on Earth about $ 100 billion.

Asteroid mining has the potential to not only make millionaires or even billionaires out of successful miners, it could also facilitate humanity’s colonization of the cosmos.

Some asteroids contain iron, cobalt, titanium, and other materials we could use to construct objects, such as space stations, while in space. Others boast oxygen and water, which astronauts need to survive, while still others contain hydrogen and ammonia, which we could turn into rocket fuel to power our spacecraft.

If Elvis is right and Falcon Heavy can help us tap into these off-world resources, SpaceX’s $ 90 million per launch cost will seem like peanuts to the modern miners with their eyes on asteroids.

The post Falcon Heavy Could Make Asteroid Mining a Reality appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

Heavy Story-Driven Exploration Game ‘Keep in Mind: Remastered’ Coming to iOS, Android, and Steam March 8th

While video games are typically lighthearted, fun escapes from reality, sometimes games can attempt to tackle more serious issues and serve to make players think and reflect on something rather than escape it. This has been even more common in the past few years with the openness of digital marketplaces and the explosion of the indie developer scene. One such game that tackles some tough issues, specifically alcoholism and mental illness, is called Keep in Mind from Little Moth Games. The story follows Jonas, who suffers from alcholism and mental illnesses like depression and grief, as he awakes one night in a strange alternate version of his world and must go on to face the darkest demons of his psyche. Here’s the latest trailer.

Keep in Mind originally released back in 2016 as a browser game, but Little Moth has partnered up with Akupara Games to re-release the game as Keep in Mind: Remastered on iOS, Android, and Steam on March 8th. The game is most certainly not a long experience, and can be completed in a half hour or so, but the hope is that the impact of the characters and story will help players deal with their own issues, or at least open their eyes to them. One very cool thing about this new release is that the developers will be donating all the game’s profits to the Child’s Play Charity. While it’s maybe not as “fun” playing games that deal with these serious issues, I’m glad that the medium of video games can branch out into these areas and create awareness and even help people cope through their own problems. If Keep in Mind: Remastered looks interesting to you, then check it out when it launches on March 8th.

TouchArcade

Everything You Need to Know About SpaceX’s Secret Falcon Heavy Payload

Secret Payload

Last week, the world watched as SpaceX launched their Falcon Heavy rocket with a Tesla Roadster stowed aboard. However, the rocket also carried something else, and while SpaceX’s secret Falcon Heavy payload may not have generated the same headlines as the Roadster, it could have even bigger implications for humanity’s future in space.

A Comprehensive List of Elon Musk’s Breakthroughs in 2017
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Inside of the Roadster, SpaceX hid an Arch (pronounced “ark”). The tiny, disc-shaped object is one of the longest-lasting storage devices ever built. It’s expected to withstand millions to billions of years in the harsh conditions of space (or potentially even on the surface of a cosmic object or distant planet).

The Arch isn’t just durable, though. It’s also able to store enormous quantities of data for extended periods of time. Each crystal disc, which looks like a throwback to the “mini-discs” of the early 2000s, can theoretically hold up to 360 terabytes of data. The longevity of the Arch is due to the technology used to inscribe the data and the medium: 5D optical storage in quartz.

Preserving Humanity

SpaceX’s secret Falcon Heavy payload is known as Arch 1.2, and it contains Issac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, a sci-fi series that discusses the preservation of humankind — a relevant topic.

Eventually, the disc’s developers at the Arch Mission Foundation plan to add to the collection to create what they’re calling the “Solar Library.” As co-founder Nova Spivack wrote in a post on Medium, “This is only the first step of an epic human project to curate, encode, and distribute our data across the solar system and beyond.”

Ultimately, the nonprofit group hopes their small quartz crystal discs could “preserve and disseminate humanity’s knowledge across time and space, for the benefit of future generations,” according to Spivack.

They already have plans to launch discs to support early colonists on Mars, and eventually, they hope to connect the Arch Libraries in an enormous, decentralized network that will allow for data sharing and storage throughout the solar system. This is certainly a moonshot, but if humans become a multi-planetary species, we’ll need such a system in place.

The post Everything You Need to Know About SpaceX’s Secret Falcon Heavy Payload appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

Falcon Heavy is a fully reusable middle-finger to the environment


  SpaceX has now launched the most powerful spacecraft since the Apollo era – the Falcon Heavy rocket – setting the bar for future space launches. The most important thing about this reusable spacecraft is that it can carry a payload equivalent to sending five double-decker London buses into space – which will be invaluable for future manned space exploration or in sending bigger satellites into orbit. Falcon Heavy essentially comprises three previously tested rockets strapped together to create one giant spacecraft. The launch drew massive international audiences – but while it was an amazing event to witness, there are…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

First look: Apple’s HomePod is loud, heavy and powerful

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Friday marks the launch of Apple’s foray into home audio, the HomePod, a compact yet booming smart speaker that will delight your ears and possibly annoy your neighbors. AppleInsider offers a closer look at the newly released hardware.
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