Asteroids pp 365-378 | Cite as

Extracting Asteroidal Mass for Robotic Construction



Near Earth Objects (NEOs) offer convenient low-gravity sources of the resources needed to extend a permanent human presence beyond earth, and build a Space-based economy. In previous work (Wanis 2005), we considered the concept of automatically forming closed wall shapes such as cylinders in Space from solid material of random shape and multidisperse size distribution, using “Tailored Force Fields”. This addresses the primary obstacle to building radiation-shielded, 1-G habitat modules in orbit. The mass required for long-term radiation shielding comes from low-gravity locations such as NEOs. Vanmali et al (2005) laid out requirements for such a mission to an NEO imagined to be at earth-sun L-4. Rangedera at al (2005) considered the conceptual design of a robotic machine to do surface excavation on a typical NEO. The present chapter is derived from Rangedera et al, presented at a Space Systems conference in Atlanta in 2005, but modified to consider returning the mass for processing to Earth orbit, instead of building habitats.


Solar Sail Mars Science Laboratory Earth Object Sample Return Mission Propellant Mass 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaU.S.A

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