Asteroids, orbital space habitats, and what we give up and leave behind when living in space

Topics we explore at Living in Space, an event on Fri. April 27th at Cross Campus in Pasadena

Nitin is a Systems and Mission Design Engineer at the Planetary Mission Concepts Formulation Group at NASA-JPL. He will be presenting “Exploration of the metal world, (16) Psyche” at our upcoming Living in Space event.We asked him some questions…


What is your role on the Psyche mission and how long have you been involved on it?

I am a flight systems engineer on Psyche, but am also involved in some minor mission design. I have been on the mission for ~1 year. As a flight system engineer, I am responsible for make sure the spacecraft works correctly as a system and it is capable of executing all necessary function to meet our science objectives.

Goldman Sachs claims that the world’s first trillionaire will earn their wealth from asteroid mining. What do you think of their claim?

I think the claim is somewhat premature, given the uncertainty of the whole in-space manufacturing industry. While it is true that mining asteroids offers a tremendous economic opportunity, we do need to figure out how to process and use all of that material for actual in-space construction and manufacturing.

Will asteroids help bring about post-scarcity on Earth?

In my view, bringing stuff back to Earth from asteroids won’t be economically viable for the foreseeable future. Asteroid mining will end up giving birth to new economies in space which, I think, will eventually surpass those even on Earth.


Living in Space is an ongoing series of events sponsored by Innovate Pasadena and organized by Space Cooperative to encourage cross-pollination of ideas amongst designers, engineers, artists and thinkers that are interested in all aspects of becoming a spacefaring civilization. Besides Nitin , we have more presentations with Suzi Bianco and Marc Cohen of Space Cooperative. We hope to see you this weekend if you’re in the Los Angeles area - RSVP now :)

Suzana (Suzi) Bianco will present her master’s thesis “New Venice: your address in space”

Suzi studied Architecture and Urbanism at the Federal Fluminense University in Brazil, and shortly after graduating, earned an MBA in project management at Fundacao Getulio Vargas. For 8 years she worked in the engineering company Promon Engenharia, first as an intern and later as a licensed architect, developing large scale industrial and infrastructure projects such as ports, factories, subway systems and power plants. In 2016 she shifted her career towards space exploration by pursuing a Masters degree in Space Architecture at the University of Houston, from which she will graduate in May 2018. Additionally, Suzi has been a member of Space Cooperative since August 2017.

Marc Cohen will present “What do we give up and leave behind?”, a critique of minimalist NewSpace mission proposals.

Marc M. Cohen is a licensed architect who has devoted his career to developing the new field of Space Architecture. Marc is a co-owner at Space Cooperative, where he provides leadership in space mission development. Prior to Space Cooperative, Marc was President and founder of Astrotecture, a provider of Space Architecture design services. He has also previously worked at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for 4.5 years in addition to NASA Ames Research Center for 26 years. At NASA Ames, Marc began as a facilities architect designing aircraft support facilities, life science labs, and wind tunnels. At the beginning of the Space Station Program (1983), Marc was appointed to the Space Station Concept Development Group at NASA HQ where he served as a “commuting member” for a year.

See you on Friday!

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