This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

17 September 2011

Upcoming Book on Outer Space Resources Law: "Law and Regulation of Commercial Mining of Minerals in Outer Space"

A new book from Dr. Ricky Lee entitled "Law and Regulation of Commercial Mining of Minerals in Outer Space (Space Regulations Library)" from Springer Press (Due: February 10, 2012). From Springer Press...

This monograph addresses the legal and policy issues relating to the commercial exploitation of natural resources in outer space. It begins by establishing the economic necessity and technical feasibility of space mining today, an estimate of the financial commitments required, followed by a risk analysis of a commercial mining venture in space, identifying the economic and legal risks. This leads to the recognition that the legal risks must be minimised to enable such projects to be financed. This is followed by a discussion of the principles of international space law, particularly dealing with state responsibility and international liability, as well as some of the issues arising from space mining activities. Much detail is devoted to the analysis of the content of the common heritage of mankind doctrine. The monograph then attempts to balance such interests in creating a legal and policy compromise to create a new regulatory regime.

Content Level » Research Keywords » Asteroids - Celestial Bodies - Comets - Commercial Exploration - Common Heritage of Mankind - Economic Prospects of Mining - Exploitation Rights - Extraction of Mineral Resources - International Space Law - Lander Mission - Lex Specialis Priniciple - Mineral Resources - Moon Agreement - Outer Space Treaty - Planets - Space Law - Space Mining - Technological Prospects of Mining - The Wellington Convention Related subjects » Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences - Law - Mineralogy & Sedimentology

TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Figures.- List of Tables.- Glossary.- Table of Abbreviations.- Table of Reports, Series and Journal Titles.- Acknowledgements.- Chapter I Introduction and Overview.- Chapter II Economic and Technical Prospects of Mining on Celestial Bodies.- Chapter III State Responsibility and Liability for Compliance with International Space Law.- Chapter IV Rights and Duties in the Commercial Exploration and Extraction of Mineral Resources on Celestial Bodies.- Chapter V Exploitation Rights: Evolving from the “Province of Mankind” to the “Common Heritage of Mankind”.- Chapter VI Meeting the Challenges and Balancing the Competing Interests in Creating a Legal and Regulatory Framework.- Chapter VII Concluding Observations.- References.- Index.

Link: Springer Books


10 September 2011

B612 Foundation Website Update

The B612 Foundation has updated its website.

About them...

The B612 is a non-profit organization founded by a group of astronauts and scientists whose goal is to predict and prevent catastrophic asteroid impacts on Earth. B612 aims to find potentially threatening asteroids, track their trajectories, and to demonstrate the technology to alter the orbit of an asteroid in a controlled manner.

09 September 2011

SGAC Announces the Winner of the 2011 Move an Asteroid Competition ("Smart Cloud" for Asteroid Mitigation)

The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) announced the winner of its 2011 Move An Asteroid International Technical Paper Competition. Here is the announcement from SGAC. The winner, Alison Gibbings, is currently is currently a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde within the Advanced Concept Laborator in Glasgow, Scotland. She will be on National Public Radio (NPR) radio show Science Friday. Here is the NPR show information.

Her proposal outlined in the paper is for a "Smart Cloud" utilizing, multiple small particles for momentum transfer for asteroid deflection.

2011 Move an Asteroid Winning Paper Abstract:

This paper presents a novel idea for the successful deflection of asteroids. Adapted initially from the kinematic impactor approach, this new concept – Smart Cloud – combines the relative benefits of ion beaming in providing a large cloud of small particles for the effective deflection and mitigation of asteroids. The cloud consists of a large number of incredibly low mass nano-size spacecraft that are released at a high relative velocity. Upon impact with the asteroid the smart cloud is shown to be highly effective in creating a large artificial drag, and therefore an associated thrust, onto the asteroid. The technique is also advantageous in avoiding the catastrophic fragmentation of the asteroid which might otherwise occur with the impact of a monolithic spacecraft and/or projectile. The impact energy of each colliding particle is significantly lower than the impact energy for disruption. . For analysis the smart cloud approach has been compared to other methods of potential deflection. This includes the low-thrust tug and the ion beaming technique. The paper will show that when the total deflection mass of the smart cloud is equivalent to the ion beaming approach, is has the advantage of significantly reducing the system mass and complexity of the spacecraft design. It is also superior in the deflection and mitigation of deep crossing asteroids.

Link: SGAC News Annoucement
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