Asteroid Mining: Sci-Fi Economy Becoming Reality?
Asteroids can be good or bad, depending on how you look at them. If you’re an earthling looking at one hurtling through space in your direction, then you’re what “one would be if you were attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis”. ((Screwed: Big Bang Theory))
On the other hand, asteroids can be valuable resources. Think of asteroids in StarCraft. Think of whichever science fiction story you like most. Chances are asteroids play a positive role. Heck, you can even use asteroids to hide from enemies!
Kidding aside, the days of asteroid mining as a figment of science fiction might just be at an end. A recent CNET article actually features a new company called Planetary Resources. This company is headed (and founded) by Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson, and their aim is to augment Earth’s natural resources by exploring resources to be found in space. And thus, asteroid mining becomes all too possible!
To get a clearer idea of just what benefits we can garner from asteroid mining, check out this infographic titled “The Space Economy: A Modern Day Gold Rush”, infographic design courtesy of Infographic Labs.
The image shows the rich potential of asteroids. For one, these space rocks have a “near-infinite supply of precious resources”. Think platinum. They say that an asteroid just might have more platinum group metals than what has been mined on Earth. Ever. No wonder dollar signs are popping up in everyone’s (who’s involved) eyes.
Some asteroids also contain water. H20. Agua. That thing that we absolutely cannot live without, especially if you live in a tropical country like I do. According to the infographic, one water-rich asteroid might be enough to fuel every rocket that has been launched.
Yup, the potential is huge, maybe even beyond the imagination of our greatest science fiction authors. Or maybe not.
Click on the image above to see the infographic in its full glory!