Mine of the Future-Asteroid Mining

Did you know how rare, precious materials are used in the computer or the phone which you read this article? For example, Terbium, Nneodymium or Tantalum. Taking these materials out of the ground and combining them in a sensitive way is not cushy. So can asteroid mining help the mining industry enhance in this way?

The mining industry is responsible for air and water pollution and the destruction of entire landscapes. While mining ore dangerous chemicals like cyanide, sulphuric acid and chlorine are used therefore workers, locals and biodiversity is harmed.

However, there is a way of mining that doesn’t harm anyone. It is just above us.

Asteroid are trillions of tons of rocks, metals or ice. As space travel is becoming cheaper and more enforceable asteroid mining is a lot easier every second. Even the smallest asteriod may contain trillions worth of industrial metals like platinum. Nevertheless, the money which you can gain from asteroid might pass the money you spent to gain it. So you may incur a loss. So why would investors spend trillions of dolars only to gain billions of them?

How to Space Mining?

 

The basic behind the asteroid mining is simple. Choose an asteroid and move it to a place where it is easier to process. But going to space is not cheap. It costs thousands of dollars just to reach a low Earth orbit. Going further costs thousands more. We can solve these problems by changing the rocket type. Mainly traditional rockets consumes more fuel compared to electric rockets. Despite they are not enough powerful to go to space, they use their fuel more efficently. It might not lower the costs but it helps us to make a start.

After these we need to find the best asteroid to mine. Thanks to the probes that already visited some of these asteroids and collected samples we can choose it more accurately. Still to keep the costs cheaper our first targets will probably be near-Earth asteroids. After months of travelling our spaceship finally arrives at our asteroid. Despite the orbital mechanics may be complicated we can direct the asteroid to the exact position with a little force if we push it in the right direction and at exactly the right moment. By getting help from the Moon’s gravity we can put the asteroid in a stable location which saves more fuel.

After waiting for the exact moment we can begin our mining. Even if we only extract 0.01% of the asteroid’s mass in precious metals, this is still several times more than you’d get from the same amount of ore on the ground.

This first step makes the others easier. So, we can stop mining on earth and focus on space mining after only a few years.

 

Long-term Asteroid Mining


In my opinion, asteroid mining is very practial, efficent and profitable and not science fiction at all. If we work on it carefully and willingly we can change the humanity’s future. Actually we can start all these today and now. All we need is an initial push.

 

 

 

 

References:

https://youtu.be/uCo12mynvQs

https://youtu.be/6Yarhdh0I4A

 

 

 

 

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