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What useful natural resources can be found on asteroids?
More Than Metals Minerals that can be found in asteroids are: iron, nickel, iridium, palladium, platinum, gold, and magnesium to name a few. Metal, however, is not the only thing that would be mined from asteroids. There is a certain interest in the mining of water.
What can be mined from an asteroid?
Now researchers have uncovered two metal-rich near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) that could one day be mined for iron, nickel and cobalt could for use on Earth or in space. They’re reckoned to be 85\% metal and one is thought to contain enough iron, nickel and cobalt to exceed Earth’s reserves.
Why do we require asteroid mining?
Since Earth’s resources are finite, the relative abundance of asteroidal ore gives asteroid mining the potential to provide nearly unlimited resources, which would essentially eliminate scarcity for those materials. The idea of exhausting resources is not new.
Why do we need asteroid mining?
How beneficial is asteroid mining?
They have small gravity fields, so it makes it easier to place spacecraft and mining equipment on the surface. It’s also easier to launch off an asteroid than say the Earth or the Moon. Also, asteroids are not processed bodies like the Earth and the Moon, so their mineral deposits are more uniform throughout.
What happens to materials mined from an asteroid?
After an asteroid’s minerals and resources have been exhausted by the mining project, the equipment can then be transported to the next asteroid. Because of the lack of gravity and atmosphere, ferrying the newly mined materials to the moon will be easy. Once there, they can be refined and formed into structures!
Is asteroid mining a viable option?
However, asteroid mining is currently only viable as a long-term solution; currently, the infrastructure and techniques needed to mine and refine asteroid resources is under development, making short term returns unlikely for mining companies.
How much would it cost to send an asteroid back to Earth?
According to the KISS study, the cost for a future mission to identify and return a 500 ton asteroid to low earth orbit is ~$2.6 billion USD, ignoring the costs to develop the infrastructure necessary to process the materials in the asteroid (“Asteroid usage”, 2012).
Can a spacecraft go to an asteroid?
A spacecraft going to an asteroid would need less rocket power and fuel than one going to the moon. One problem will be how to keep the asteroid from rotating while it’s being mined. Some experts suggest attaching rockets to the asteroid to take the spin out of it.