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Video of Ceres from DAWN Images

Ceres can be considered as either a large asteroid or a small planet, often called a dwarf planet. It is almost 590 miles (950 kilometers) across, as big as the state of Texas. It is located in the asteroid belt, at an orbit of about 2.8 AUs or 419 million kilometers from the Sun. (Earth […]

White Dwarf Dyson Sphere

In 1959, physicist and astronomer, Freeman Dyson, published a paper called, “Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation”. The paper described a way to maximize utilization of energy from a star by surrounding it with a network of solar energy collectors arranged in a spherical configuration. In popular fiction, this idea has often been […]

Biospheres in Space

When we begin to migrate out into space, we will need to create self-sustaining “biospheres” to live in. Technically, the International Space Station is a biosphere, but we re-supply it from outside constantly instead of replenishing materials from within. Our first outposts beyond Earth orbit will be similarly dependent upon regular supplies brought in from […]

How to Prevent Against Asteroid Threat

There has been a lot of recent discussion about the threat to Earth from asteroid impact and what we can do to prevent it. Some of the methodology is obvious: Design a scalable plan – The plan should has to be designed with a clear understanding that it will change over time. It must be […]

Asteroids of Potential Hazard to Earth

Asteroids of Potential Hazard to Earth

Orbits of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids – [nasa.gov] This graphic shows the orbits of all the known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), numbering over 1,400 as of early 2013. These are the asteroids considered hazardous because they are fairly large (at least 460 feet or 140 meters in size), and because they follow orbits that pass close […]

Leave the Asteroids Where They Are

Many current proposals for mining asteroids include the process of towing the asteroid back to Earth orbit to extract the valuable minerals. Leave the asteroids where they are. Towing them back to Earth assumes that they will only have value on Earth. It will take many years for us to develop the infrastructure necessary to […]

NASA Asteroid Retrieval Mission

This is an imaginary animation of a mission to retrieve an asteroid that has been proposed by NASA. It is unlikely to actually occur. It doesn’t make sense to spend the enormous amount of time and energy required to accomplish this, when it will be much easier to examine the asteroid where it already is. […]

Commercial Asteroid Mining Project

A new space exploration company is announcing their intent to create a new industry and redefine “natural resources” by mining asteroids. Planetary Resources plans to launch a small, low cost, space telescope that will discover asteroids and examine them to determine what valuable metals and elements they contain. Ice and platinum group metals are among […]

The B612 Foundation

“The Little Prince” is a short novel written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 1943. The story describes encounters by a little prince who has come to Earth from a small planet known as Asteroid B612. The B612 foundation is a group dedicated to finding asteroids that pose a threat to Earth and preventing catastrophic impacts […]

Printing Space Habitats

3D printers work by extruding materials in patterns and building up layers of the material into three dimensional objects. The greatest cost of building structures in space is simply lifting the mass of the materials up out of the gravity well we live in. If materials to build with can be provided in space without […]