While many still see space mining as science fiction, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is fast tracking its planned mission to 16 Psyche — an iron ore and nickel rich asteroid, worth roughly $10,000 quadrillion.
To put that value into perspective, the targeted celestial body’s estimated value is more than the combined economy of our entire planet, guessed at $78 trillion, multiplied by a thousand.
You don’t need to be a mathematician or a financial expert to realize that bringing that amount of minerals back to our planet would collapse the Earth’s economy.
And if you follow the mining sector’s news, then you know the market wouldn’t benefit from yet more iron ore supply.
Fortunately, NASA is only planning to explore 16 Psyche, not mine it. Al least for now. What the agency has done, however, is to move forward the launch date to 2022 from 2013, Science Alert reports.
While a year is nothing in terms of space missions, the team behind the project has devised a plan to make the journey to the asteroid more efficient, which slashes four years from the original travel time.
If the mission to 16 Psyche — one of the most massive asteroids found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter — is successful, then humans will have a first ever chance of exploring a world made of iron, not rock or ice.
Geologists believe all asteroids are packed with iron ore, nickel and precious metals at much higher concentrations than those found on Earth, making up a market valued in the trillions of dollars.
Not only private companies are planning to mine celestial bodies, but governments are increasingly joining the race too. In 2015, ex US President Barack Obama signed a law that grants American citizens rights to own resources mined in space. Shortly after, Luxembourg inked a deal with two US space research companies, in an effort to become a global centre for asteroid mining.
Sorta like when Spain brought back large amounts of gold and silver from America.
And wars might get started over resources in space.
But oxygen is the most vital resource.
These guys have rocks for brains waisting public funds on dreams. Remember they don’t even have a rocket to get to the International Space Station. They have to use the Russian ones. Everything they do is over budget. They have gotten used to simply gobbling up public funds like it is drain water.
Cool, but purely academic at this point in human development. Utterly unfeasible economically and unpractical psychically.
Instead of using all that money to get to an Asteroid that wont be mined for years, why not use the funding for cleaning up the POLLUTION man has created on EARTH – lets take care of our home planet FIRST.
Just as stupid as Obama’s mixed bathrooms. Has no merit other than increasing govt. budgets again just like what the Liberals like to do.
…”forward the launch date to 2022 from 2013″ Er… ?
$10,000 Quadrillion? or would it be easier to just say $10 Quintillion. Am I wrong or does the guy writing this article not understand numbers? But like mentioned before, moving a launch date from 2013 to 2022 is moving ahead 1 year…
like the Dutch VOC bringing back spice from Indonesia after years of dangerous and deadly missions on rickety boats with 15th century technology. The VOC was the first publicly traded company and had great administrative power as any government.
Al least for now. What the agency has done, however, is to move forward the launch date to 2022 from 2013.
Epic editing 🙂
Yet another sensationalist, unedited, click bait article from Cecilia Jamasmie. Last I checked this was Mining.com not sciencefiction.com. While I won’t say mining asteroids won’t one day become a possibility, it certainly won’t happen in our lifetimes. There are far too many undeveloped, underdeveloped, or undiscovered deposits still out there. Even if we develop the technology in the next 50 years to be able to do it, the cost vs value won’t be realized until many decades later.
The Real John Smith
Another Cold War style competition? http://www.ksl.com/?nid=1012&sid=32515405
Very good. I like big numbers given I am 4,237,759,102,886 years old with some 1.9x 10 trillion kids, plus or minus 10%. Away, to write more cyphers.