Jan 29 2015

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Deep Space Industries looking at microbes for asteroid processing

Similar to the process we use to help extract copper here on Earth. This idea has more merit than I first thought:

The DSI team is trying to bring the picture into clearer focus. For instance, the researchers surveyed data about the 11,000 known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), to estimate how many of them might have the right interior temperature profiles to support microbial life.

The results, presented in the team’s AGU poster, were encouraging: About 2,800 NEAs appear to be potentially habitable, defined as possessing projected interior temperatures that hover between 23 degrees and 212 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 5 to 100 degrees Celsius) for extended periods, without ever exceeding 212 F.

Furthermore, 120 of these asteroids likely have a “preferred” interior temperature, with a range between 59 and 113 F (15 to 45 C) — again, never exceeding 212 F.

’cause my first thought was, “How are you going to do this without some water as a medium within which the microbes would work?” Who’d have thought that so many asteroids were Goldilocks-like in their interior? As the article states, there are major technical problems that need to be solved, but this may reduce some of the costs of mining and extracting raw materials.

Ideas percolating in my head…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/29/deep-space-industries-looking-at-microbes-for-asteroid-processing/

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