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Planetary Resources To 'Claim' Asteroids With Beacons 221

kkleiner writes "Planetary Resources last year boldly claimed that they would build a futuristic business out of mining space asteroids. To that end, the firm recently completed the Arkyd-100 satellite prototype. The satellite will use its telescope to look for suitable near-Earth asteroids from low-Earth orbit. Later expeditions will rocket out to prospective real estate, do spectral analysis, and if the asteroid contains valuable resources, lay claim with a beacon."
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Planetary Resources To 'Claim' Asteroids With Beacons

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  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @03:23PM (#42957875)
    Not only not enforceable: I always thought that there were treaties against this, as in no private company from any country can claim anything outside the atmosphere without some sort of international agreement. See Outer Space Treaty [].
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @03:36PM (#42958007) Journal

    So just incorporate in e.g. Lithuania, which is not party to the treaty.

  • by thelovebus ( 264467 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @04:00PM (#42958245)

    On the one hand, mineral claims have a long history and seem to have worked decently.

    On the other hand, how do we prevent an unscrupulous company from doing just enough work to *claim* these asteroids, with no intention of actually following through and mining them. Then, acting as a rent-seeker when another company actually does try to mine the resources?

  • by Tuidjy ( 321055 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @04:31PM (#42958583)

    The first shot will be even better than the one you'd get on Earth. The power already contains the oxidants the combustion needs, and there will be no air resistance.

    The rest of the shot are trickier. If the gun is an automatic, and has not been modified, you may need to chamber the rounds manually, because the lack of air resistance may mess up the automatic action.

    If the gun is a revolver, you will be able to fire all chambers as usual, but the gun will be only cooling by radiating heat AND through the contact with your gloves. That may become uncomfortable rather quickly.

    And of course, you may have problems with recoil. Unless you have anchored yourself rather well, you will start moving in very complex way, especially if you do not fire the bullet along a line passing through your center of mass and the end of the barrel.

Happiness is twin floppies.