PDR model of SpaceGold’s Mining Engine

The Preliminary Design Review (PDR) is a technical assessment that establishes the Allocated Baseline of a system to ensure a system is operationally effective.  A PDR is conducted before the start of detailed design work and is the first opportunity to closely observe the hardware and software design.  This review assesses the allocated design documented in subsystem product specifications for each configuration item in the system and ensures that each function, in the Functional Baseline, has been allocated to one or more system configuration items. The PDR establishes the allocated baseline (hardware, software, human/support systems) and underlying architectures to ensure that the system under review has a reasonable expectation of satisfying the requirements within the currently allocated budget and schedule.

The Technology Behind the SpaceGold Mining Engine

In order to achieve being able to successfully mine and refine gold on asteroids, SpaceGold Corporation uses a laser pulse to create a plasma pulse that is deflected by a powerful magnet. Gold is then selected by atomic weight vs charge which causes it to impact a glass ribbon that uses a physical vapor deposition process.

While the Chem Cam laser used by the Curiosity rover on Mars uses remote laser vaporization to produce a spectrum, other laser plumes are produced in mass spectrometers that identify molecules according to the charge and mass of the resulting ion. Just as chromatography is used to process as well as identify chemicals, so quadrupole ionic separator of sufficient capacity may be used to isolate materials. This is how SpaceGold Corporation mines, refines, and mints physical gold bars in space from physical gold found in the regolith of asteroids still floating in Outer Space.

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Concept Maturity Level

This study was conducted as a Concept Maturity Level (CML) 3 – 4 study (see Appendix B for Concept Maturity Level Definitions). A staged cradle lander mission architecture matured for the Robotic Asteroid Exploration Program (RLEP) was used as a point of departure. Benefits from technology advances and progress from similar mission concept developments were incorporated where relevant.
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