Colonizing other planets is a challenging process. The most important fact we should pay attention to when venturing into such a journey would be to obtain the necessary resources for sustaining life on distant worlds or when traveling to them. Luckily, there is an abundance of asteroids scattered all over the solar system, and these space rocks could become our cosmic “supermarkets” as they have plenty of elements we might need when conducting colonizing missions to other planets. Asteroid mining would help us gather those resources.
Out of the several millions of asteroids flying around our solar system, 18,000 of these space rocks are in the near vicinity of the Earth and are full of water and metal. With so many asteroids around us, we are surrounded by at least two trillion metric tons of water and precious metals and rare elements that worth trillions of US Dollars.
While there are many types of asteroids flying around the solar system with their majority orbiting the Sun from the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, only a kind of asteroid is essential for our future colonization missions.
Asteroid mining could offer us the resources we need for the future colonization missions
The majority of the space rocks fall under three primary categories, namely, C-Type, S-Type and M-type, each being characterized by its most-abundant element.
Thus, C-Type asteroids, which are the most common in the Universe, contain carbon in abundance, along with silicate rocks and clay. The S-Type space rocks are greenish to reddish in appearance and consist of silicate materials and nickel-iron. On the other hand, the M-Type asteroids are made up of nickel-iron, that being the reason why these rocks are commonly known as metallic asteroids.
However, while S- and M-Type space rocks are instant money makers as they are rich in metal, precious metal, and rare compounds, the C-Type asteroids are of great significance for future colonization missions.
C-Type asteroids contain plenty of water and hydrated clay minerals. Thus, asteroid mining for water is vital in the perspective of the future colonization missions on distant planets, not only for the intrinsic life-sustaining value of water but also for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen for producing rocket fuel.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.