The extraction of many minerals on Earth is constantly complicated, and the available deposits are becoming less and less. However, in the solar system there are many celestial bodies replete with rare resources. According to the calculations of the researchers, only in the belt of asteroids, the deposits of metals are estimated at hundreds of quintillas dollars. Therefore, it is not surprising that now all over the world, cosmic mining companies, which will be the gold fever of the 21st century. In the article, we looked at the prospects for this industry, the most attractive objects and potential benefits.
Obviously, the amount of minerals and valuable elements directly proportionally depends on the size of the space object. However, asteroids are currently considered the most attractive. This is due to the lack of additional factors complicating mining, such as hostile atmosphere, high gravity, strong electromagnetic fields, and so on.
The asteroid belt is full of metals — from iron and nickel to gold and platinum. According to preliminary estimates of the researchers, the value of these deposits is at least $ 700 quintillas (700 × 1018).
Scientists and industrialists say that after creating the necessary infrastructure, almost limitless possibilities will open. This will lead to a new industrial revolution and a gold fever at the same time. Pioneers who will gain courage and will deal with this, will be able to earn an astronomical state.
Such prospects do not give rest to many enterprising innovators who begin to create cosmic mining companies. At 2020, several launches of private intelligence apparatus were already appointed, and it is expected that the first developments of the asteroids closest to Earth will begin by 2030.
You can even find the most important resource for a person — water. It is very useful in space, because when the separation of its molecules is formed oxygen and hydrogen, which can be used as rocket fuel. Companies such as Planetary Resources and Asteroid Mining Company plan to extract water from asteroids, turning them into filling stations of the future.
Although all cosmic bodies contain useful resources, but not every every time it is possible to work successfully. As in any business, developing efficiency and final profitability is crucial. In this case, in addition to the conditions, the remoteness of the object affects.
Space mining is not just a gold fever for science. Movement of production from the ground will help reduce the environmental load on the environment. The restraining factor in the development of many technologies is now the limited reserves of certain elements, such as rare-earth metals necessary to create electronics in the newest gadgets. However, their mining «dirty» and causes huge damage as the surrounding ecosystem in general and miners. In the open space, you can use fully automated equipment, without exposing people at risk, and destroying the delicate biosphere.
New space mines can also become a source of rare resources from which the tools needed to mitigate the current environmental crisis will be created. Solar batteries, electric cars and energy-saving lamps — all this requires rare elements such as platinum. This precious metal is not only worth $ 26 thousand per kilogram, but also one of the main components of catalytic neutralizers that provide the operation of hydrogen cars, and the «cleaner» helps to work.
We have cosmic devices of reusable, which are well suited to work at a low near-earth orbit. Now it’s time to produce specialized funds that are able to leave the boundaries of the atmosphere, flying far away into open space.
In the next decade, mining of minerals outside the land should go from the category of fiction to a real business bringing colossal profits. An additional confirmation of this is the fact that in some universities of the world has already begun to introduce individual courses on the space development of resources.
Other technologies will also have a significant impact on the economy. One example is how