Archive for the ‘space construction’ Category

‘Mining the Sky’ – John S. Lewis

March 22, 2013

This is the last of my seven posts about good textbooks or technical books about Earth impactors in English. Let me know about works I’ve overlooked!

Mining the Sky by Dr. John S. Lewis has 15 chapters about utilizing space resources. This is, in effect, a distillation of the OOP (Out-of-Print) 1993 Arizona Space Science Series textbook, “Resources of Near-Earth Space,” edited by Dr. Lewis, Mildred S. Mathews, and Mary L. Guerrieri.

Dr. Lewis became the Chief Scientist at one of the asteroid mining companies, Deep Space Industries (DSI) in 2013 after helping to define the industry two decades earlier with ‘Resources.’

275 pages, Helix Books, 1996, Mining the Sky by Dr. John S. Lewis, Paperback, U$13.64 from Amazon.

Errata: page 172, replace ‘William Burroughs’ with ‘Anthony Burgess’ as author of the nadsat language in ‘A Clockwork Orange.’

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Resources of Near-Earth Space – John S. Lewis

March 17, 2013

Resources of Near-Earth Space edited by John S. Lewis, Mildred S. Mathews, and Mary L. Guerrieri.

The essential textbook of Space Resources, with 33 papers defining the field to the public. I hope Dr Lewis has colleagues working on the update/sequel now that two decades more data have been accumulated. Dr. Lewis joined Deep Space Industries in Feb. 2013.

  1. Introduction – 1 paper, Using Resources From Near-Earth Space by Lewis, McKay, and Clark
  2. The Moon – 15 papers including Refractory Material From Lunar Resources by Poisl and Carrier
  3. Near-Earth Objects – 7 papers including Volatile Products From Carbonaceous Asteroids by Nichols
  4. Mars and Beyond – 10 papers including A Chemical Approach to Carbon Dioxide Utilization on Mars by Hepp, Landis, and Kubiak

Arizona Space Science Series textbook, University of Arizona Press, 977 pages, 1993, Resources of Near-Earth Space is OOP (Out-Of-Print), but if you act fast, used copies are as low as U$112 at Amazon and U$119 on eBay. Very inexpensive if you want to make a good impression at your Deep Space Industries job interview by quoting from their Chief Scientist’s textbook during your answer to their question: what do you want to work on.  🙂

Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us – Yeomans

February 24, 2013

Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us by Donald K. Yeomans. Here’s a popular-audience space science book that I wasn’t aware of, just published in October 2012 (copyright 2013), with a practical and direct title. 🙂 And as a result of the Chelyabinsk meteor, his book is number one in a specialized subcategory at Amazon: #1 in Books > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Astronomy & Space Science > Comets, Meteors & Asteroids

Youmans of course is an NASA expert of long-standing repute in these areas, so I’ve just ordered this for myself and in appreciation of his decades of effort to caution the world. Happily, it’s a slim 192 page book with only a U$16.37 impact to the wallet at Amazon. 12 of these pages are one of the best and most thorough indexes I’ve ever seen in terms of including subheadings within an entry.

This is the best of these recommended Earth-impact books for the public, with ten clear and succinct chapters.

Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us by Donald K. Yeomans.

Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids – Belton et al

February 24, 2013

My next suggestion for your local college library donation to help as reference material or textbooks for Chelyabinsk-inspired students is Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids by Belton et al. This 17-chapter technical book’s papers concentrate on the physics and engineering of how to prevent impacts, rather then on impact effects.

For instance, the papers I intend to read or reread first are: Chapter 2 – Earth impactors: orbital characteristics and warning times, Chesley & Spahr; Chapter 6 – About deflecting asteroids and comets, Holsapple; Chapter 9 – Mitigation technolgies and their requirements, Gritzner & Kahle;  and Chapter 13 – Optimal interception and deflection of Earth-approaching asteroids using low-thrust electric propulsion, Scheeres.

And this is where having an existing space construction infrastructure would come in, as Chris Lewicki, Chief Asteroid Miner at Planetary Resources, and David Gump, CEO at Deep Space Industries, have pointed out in numerous interviews. With multiple copies of various modules – hab, lab, propulsion, storage/shielding (water), etc – in use, and with the ability to rapidly print more modules from asteroid metals and lunar titanium, we will have more options for deflection. For example, fuel depots, using icesteroids and lunar-pole ice as storage sources, will give between one to two orders of magnitude more immediately available velocity change (fuel). But this would take a minimum of 20 to 40 years to create.

The amazon link to the 2011 paperback reissue of the 2004 Cambridge University Press hardback (436 pages, U$58 for the paperback, U$185 for the hardback):
Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids by Belton et al.


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