Space exploration

James Cameron – Climate Hypocrite, Ctd

NZ Herald

I pointed out with a video yesterday that James Cameron is a climate hypocrite.

And now he is set to mine asteroids in a new venture:

A US company, backed by film director James Cameron and Google’s top executives, has unveiled bold plans to mine asteroids for precious minerals and water.

Heralding a new frontier in space exploitation, Planetary Resources announced plans to send a swarm of robot miners into space to prospect resource-rich chunks of rock not far from Earth.

The firm’s co-founder Peter Diamandis said he wanted to “make the resources of space available to humanity”, and add trillions of dollars to global wealth in the process.

Among the goodies to be found on near-Earth asteroids are much-sought-after platinum, iron, nickel and sulfur as well as more obscure minerals that make excellent semi-conductors.

The equipment could also harvest water, which scientists believe holds the key to building propellants that will allow deep space exploration.

The first step will be to send a telescope into space within the next 18 to 24 months that can spot which asteroids may be useful.

Admitting the project was “difficult”, Diamandis and his colleagues tried to silence claims that it was a flight of fantasy, assembling a veritable fantasy team of investors.

They include Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt andTitanic filmmaker Cameron, as well as the son of one-time presidential candidate Ross Perot.

Quite how they are going to get all that stuff into space with out burning tonnes of noxious chemicals in fueling rockets is beyond me.

Perhaps James Cameron might like to tell us what the carbon footprint of this new venture will be?

Space Junk

Some Russian space junk may be heading our way:

Kiwis may have to watch out for ‘space junk’ falling from the sky as an out-of-control Russian satellite orbits over the country over the next two days.

After a decade of planning and an estimated cost of $205 billion (NZD), “Phobos-Grunt” was launched from Kazakstan in November.

Its mission was to land on the moon and to release a further satellite to orbit Mars and send information back to Earth.

However, for unknown reasons the Russian agency lost communication and control of it and as it travels on an elliptical earth orbit, said Department of Archaeology lecturer at Adelaide’s Flinders University Dr Alice Gorman.

From tracking the craft, it is expected to fly over New Zealand several times between tomorrow and Monday and there was a chance of ‘space junk’ such as metals and other materials falling onto the country, she said.

“There are things that could fall – fuel tanks, robust metals like titanium and a few other components. There’ll be some parts that survive re-entry.”