Asteroid Mining and Humanities Future Ventures into the Stars

credit to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP44EPBMb8A
and this channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsXVk37bltHxD1rDPwtNM8Q

credit to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP44EPBMb8A and this channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsXVk37bltHxD1rDPwtNM8Q

A large portion of all technology we use today is made using a few precious resources, of which we have few. These include elements such as Terbium, Neodymium, Tantalum, and some of the ones you have more commonly heard of. These minerals are costly to mine, and the procedures used cause air and water pollution. Other problems caused by mining include the use of toxic elements and the loss of habitats.

One way we could fix this issue would be by looking to the skies and mining asteroids. In theory this would be great! A large asteroid known as 16 psyche is about 230,000 meters across and is 90% metal. According to Forbes Magazine, the value of the asteroid is 75,000 times that of our global economy. The link to that article is here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2021/02/03/nasa-in-final-phase-with-psyche-1-billion-mission-to-an-asteroid-worth-70000-times-our-global-economy/?sh=345a10fc7898

Harvesting these asteroids would mean massive amounts of money, and estimates show it to be worth 10,000 quadrillion dollars, but quintillions of dollars of metals are worth nothing if it costs thousands of quintillions to get them. This is why it might be best if we go for a different approach: We grab a smaller asteroid with high metal content that is close by. We would do this using electric rockets, which we use to correct satellite orbits all the time. While electric rockets are not powerful enough to get off earth, they only require a tiny amount of fuel to go very far. This doesn’t totally fix the cost problem, but it helps alot. All we need to do is make larger electric rockets and invest in this. We could bring it closer by giving it a small push at exactly the right time. While the asteroid is slowly moving closer to earth, we would need to build asteroid harvesting equipment and launch it towards the asteroid at the precise right moment. It then focuses sunlight to boil gasses out of the rock, and uses drills to scoop out precious material. If the mining device had a 3d printer in it, it could print a capsule with a gas bubble in it, full of resources, and drop it down to earth. Another way we could retrieve the resources is by just simply picking them up from the miner.

 

In conclusion, asteroid mining would probably solve a lot of problems. Expensive technology like phones and computers would become cheap. Countries could invest more in other countries and their own countries well being because they would have an excess amount of resources to do so with. Asteroid mining could even be our key to the stars.