RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 11:00-12:00; CSO Common Room

Robert Jedicke

"First Steps on the Path to Asteroid Mining"

Since it’s inception NASA has promulgated a vision of human exploration that involves missions and outposts in Earth orbit, the lunar surface and Mars, with supplies delivered from Earth’s surface. When in-space resources are considered, they are assumed to be derived from the surface of the Moon or Mars, with some consideration of Phobos and Deimos. I will describe the vision of TransAstra Corporation that promotes a scenario in which humans live in space supported by asteroid resources beginning with the most accessible Near Earth Objects (NEOs). NEO resources are a cost-effective approach because they contain available, exploitable extraterrestrial material that are delivered to the inner solar system by gravitational perturbations from the planets, they have been naturally preprocessed into objects the ideal size for industrial operations, and they contain critical materials for cost-effective self-sustaining activities in space. TransAstro corporation’s proposed Sutter Survey spacecraft mission will demonstrate technologies critical to prospecting for the most promising NEOs for in-space resource utilization.