Questions and answers

Can you mine an asteroid?

Can you mine an asteroid?

Miners on asteroids would use techniques similar to those used on Earth. The most likely method would be to scrape desired material off the asteroid, and tunnel into veins of specific substances. Scraping, or strip mining, will pull out valuable ore that will float off the asteroid.

Can we mine the asteroid belt?

Yes, asteroids will likely be mined for metals sometime in the future. But once those metals start hitting the market, back here on Earth, the influx of supply will likely drive their prices into the ground. Gold, platinum and other metals will no longer be ‘precious’ because they will no longer be scarce.

Is asteroid mining profitable?

The economically valuable materials present on the asteroid Ryugu have a total estimated value of 82.76 billion U.S. dollars, and is estimated to have a profit of 30.08 billion U.S. dollars once the costs of mining are taken into consideration.

Why are asteroids so valuable?

Today, these metals are mined from Earth’s crust, and they are essential for economic and technological progress. Hence, the geologic history of Earth may very well set the stage for a future of asteroid mining.

What are the disadvantages of asteroid mining?

Difficulties include the high cost of spaceflight, unreliable identification of asteroids which are suitable for mining, and more extraction challenges. Thus, terrestrial mining remains the only means of raw mineral acquisition used today.

How much money is an asteroid worth?

The asteroid’s metal is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion, more than the entire economy of Earth.

Why shouldn’t we mine the moon?

We could lose a valuable scientific resource The Moon is a scientific time capsule. As it lacks an atmosphere, there is no weathering or erosion of its surface. The cratered face we see represents 4.5 billion years of astronomical history.