a closer look at asteroid mining

Asteroid mining is touted as the industry of the future. But how ready are we to harvest raw materials from the asteroid belt at a profit?

asteroid mining rig

The idea of asteroid mining is a constant staple of science fiction and as our technology gets better and better at deep space missions, plenty of people are just waiting for the day when Earth will be flooded by trillions of dollars worth of ore from space, especially precious metals which are much more abundant in asteroids than in the planet’s crust. But what would it take to make serious cash from plundering the edge of the inner solar system? How much raw material would you have to process? Who would take these challenges on and what would it take for asteroid mining to become big business? No need to wait until Dr. Ian O’Neill and I finish our book on the potential future of space travel in the next few decades. I’m tacking this topic in a guest post for Discovery Space. The concept of mining asteroid gets its own chapter so this is a brief overview at best, but it does show that an industry straight out of sci-fi novels may be a lot harder to turn into reality when we get into the finer details of how it would have to operate and the technology it would need…

# space // asteroid mining / asteroids / economics


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