Daily Management Review

Space Mining for Humanity's Benefit, NASA Wants Governments to Collaborate


11/04/2016




Space Mining for Humanity's Benefit, NASA Wants Governments to Collaborate
To advance humanity, as space mining is a reality, a top NASA official told the media on Friday.
 
In the multi-billion dollar space industry, mining is a major hot-button area of research alongside tourism.
 
Minerals that are rare on Earth can be found abundantly and richly in asteroids. According to U.S. firm Planetary Resources, one of the major asteroid mining players, about 174 times the world's yearly output of the metal, and 1.5 times the known global reserves of platinum-group metals, is could be present in one platinum-rich 500 meter-wide asteroid.
 
Jose Cordeiro, NASA's energy advisor, told the media that mining centers that can send refined materials, rare metals and even clean energy to Earth, could be developed or get developed from the asteroids near Earth and that is the hope of scientists.
 
He added that Earthly issues, such as climate change, water and food security, can be helped resolved by so much energy that lies beyond Earth.
 
But the thorny issue of regulation lies with any new frontier.
 
"We shouldn't think about countries when talking about the universe, we should be talking about planets. Thinking just about the U.S.A, Russia or China is not the way to go, we have to think about humanity and its continuation outside Earth," Cordeiro explained.
 
He insisted that just as artificial intelligence is for the human condition, interplanetary travel is important for the future of humanity.
 
"Going to the Moon was fundamental for humanity and a trip to Mars will do the same....We simply need more collaboration."

Experts believe that asteroid mining can bring in so much money that it can change the life of each person on the planet and according to a recent estimate, if the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter can be reached, each person on Earth can own $100 billion.
 
In the belt between the two planets, there are more than one million asteroids. 200 asteroids that are more than 60 miles in diameter are present among those asteroids.  This asteroid belt is worth $700 quintillion according to NASA. Everyone on the Earth can get $100 billion each with that much of an amount.
 
To achieve beyond the usual heights, asteroid mining companies are stretching limits. However in getting hold of the said belt, there are technical difficulties. Getting one sample from asteroid Bennu is being planned by NASA. And the cost of the mission will be one billion and the sample will weigh around 2kg..
 
But simply because there are possibilities of unimaginable return of investment, there is involvement of big money.
 
Investments in Asteroid mining companies is being looked at by many a country. A private mining company - Planetary Resources, a startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page is the sources of an investment of $27.6 million by Luxembourg.
 
$21.1 million from venture capital funds and private investors like Page was earlier managed to be raised by the startup. Its first commercial asteroid-prospecting mission would be possible to be launched with all the investments put together. The first mission should take place in 2020, according to President Chris Lewicki.
 
(Source:www,cnbc.com & www.itechpost.com) 






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