Why Would We Want To Mine Asteroids?
The Motley Fool is a popular investor news source that famously features early stage investment opportunities.
An article there addresses the cost of putting water in space.
Some 16,000 near-Earth asteroids orbit the Sun, containing an estimated 2 trillion metric tons of water…
For the mathematically inclined, a metric ton contains just over 2,200 pounds, or 264 gallons of water. So 2 million metric tons equal roughly 528 trillion gallons, or more than 4.4 quadrillion pounds of water.
Now, it costs NASA on average $10,000 to lift a pound of water into orbit — whether in the form of water for drinking, or as constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms rearranged for use as rocket fuel. Thus, the economic value of the water alone contained in near-Earth asteroids — not even considering the tons of valuable metals they may also contain — works out to … better sit down for this … 44 quintillion dollars.
That’s 44, followed by 18 zeroes — and preceded by a dollar sign (Smith R, 2018).
Need more reasons? Gold? Rare Earth Minerals Needed For Tech Devices? I’ll stop. This is important work that will be financially lucrative with the right approach. The company with the best propulsion technology will win the race. to mind asteroids in space We want to build that company.
Smith, Rich, 2018, “Asteroid Mining (Phase 1) to Begin in 2020, Says This Space Pioneer” Published by The Motley Fool, May 26, 2018, and retrieved online January 23, 2019 from https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/05/26/asteroid-mining-phase-1-to-begin-in-2020-says-this.aspx
Nasa Artist Concept: – http://www.thespacereview.com/archive/90a.jpg another version existion on the nasa.gov web, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19340210