Forget about cryptocurrency, because asteroid mining is the next thing and companies are already rushing to get to space and mine some ore. According to NASA, asteroids have a big value: up to $700 quintillion.
To put that in perspective, it would mean that you can split it to each person on Earth, and there would be £75 billion for each of us. But who would split such fortune to all people on Earth?
Companies are now building machines to take people there, like Deep Space Industries who are developing a steam-powered thruster to be used for spacecraft.
Asteroid Mining Corporation, the British company, hopes that they’ll get platinum from asteroids by sending small spacecraft to mine them and then to use that metal to finance future missions.
Planetary Resources in America, supported by film director James Cameron plan to send some robotic vehicles to mine the metals and other rare minerals in space.
On the other hand, some people predict that mineral wealth will destroy the global economy.
In 2022, NASA will start a mission called Psyche towards an asteroid which is rich in metal. It’s called 16 Psyche and it might have metal that’s worth £8,000 quadrillion.
Christian Schroeder of the University of Stirling explains that mining asteroids is a convenient way to get metals that run out on Earth:
“Asteroids crossing Earth’s orbit may become convenient targets for mining operations.”
Lindy Elkins-Tanton (Arizona State University, Tempe) is the lead investigator of Psyche mission, saying that the asteroid, which is 124 miles wide could be worth that much money if it somehow got dragged to Earth:
‘Even if we could grab a big metal piece and drag it back here … what would you do? Could you kind of sit on it and hide it and control the global resource – kind of like diamonds are controlled corporately – and protect your market? What if you decided you were going to bring it back and you were just going to solve the metal resource problems of humankind for all time? This is wild speculation obviously.’
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.