Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
January 13, 2016
Yesterday I blogged about the necessity of developing practical technologies to make the proposals of mining asteroids economical and practical. Over the course of following this story the past few years, I (and many readers here) have pointed out that with current technologies, such a venture seems not to be practical nor capable of sustaining sufficient economies of scale to make the venture practical. Chief among these technological limitations, I have concentrated on the inadequacy of chemical rockets. Yesterday, however, I also focused on the need for practical large scale technologies to actually reduce and if possible refine minerals to be mined on asteroids.
In that context, consider this development and the potential implications, in this article shared by Mr. G.K.:
This is not a new technology, as the article points out. But what is intriguing here, especially in terms of an implied ability of “crushing things”(albeit here, of a very small nature), is the making of such technology smaller, and of its possibility for adjustment to potential practical uses:
A new Sandia National Laboratories accelerator called Thor is expected to be 40 times more efficient than Sandia’s Z machine, the world’s largest and most powerful pulsed-power accelerator, in generating pressures to study materials under extreme conditions. “Thor’s magnetic field will reach about one million atmospheres, about the pressures at Earth’s core,” said David Reisman, lead theoretical physicist of the project.