Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Almost as great as sliced bread.

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Asteroid Mining Robot

Autonomous mining of asteroid to produce rock fuel
 
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After seeing a post about the value of the minerals available if one could capture an asteroid, I came to the following:

Imagine an autonomous lander which would rendezvous with an asteroid and mine it for water and/or other materials which it would use (in combination with energy from sunlight and/or RTG) to produce rocket fuel that would then be used to adjust the asteroid's orbit and bring it into a suitable orbit around our moon. From there the rest of the minerals of the asteroid could be mined and used to build structures in orbit, without the high cost of bringing them from earth.

mzellers, Feb 14 2013

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       // Imagine an autonomous lander which would rendezvous with an asteroid and... //   

       Many, many people already have, some of them scifi writers, some of them rocket scientists. This one may not be baked yet, but it's sure as hell already in the oven.
Alterother, Feb 14 2013
  

       Can you smell something burning?
UnaBubba, Feb 14 2013
  

       There is a strong smell of some sort of burning baked good. Buns? Croissants?
WcW, Feb 14 2013
  

       Nope. Smell's more like the ashes of an old idea, being raked over yet again.
UnaBubba, Feb 14 2013
  

       [marked-for-deletion] I was just reading this article online, dated Jan 7.
FlyingToaster, Feb 16 2013
  
      
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