I hope they are able to pursue the technology. Even if it turns to be a failure from a profitability standpoint it might still provide much needed knowledge of how to maneuver or even change the trajectory of a potentially earth threatening body in space.
We've cast the world, we've set the stage, for what could be, the darkest age...
I read the article, and I don't think it addressed the issue of "which" asteroids to mine.
Like, how do you know that a particular asteroid is 50% platinum, for example, or some other highly valuable substance?
And I agree with "and then" that the technology might prove useful in dealing with possible asteriod hits.
Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað.
Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:37 PM
First problem - How to stop the pit-ponies floating away!
"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
(The Yeoman of the Guard ~ Gilbert and Sullivan)
Anything is mineable as long as it has economic value. A lot of mines opening up at the moment which have low grade ore wouldn't have been considered a couple of years ago, but as the prices have risen they have become a profitable option. I can't see asteroids economic and today's prices, but in 20/30/40 years, it could be a real option. As long as the price is right.
Good idea but i don't think it will happen in my life time,potential though for big problems towing asteroids into close Earth orbit,especially if some one get's their maths wrong.
Wouldn't it cause big problems though?If for instance, Earth markets were flooded with precious metals.
Probably the most likely metal they would find is iron, a common component of metallic meteors. Should they find enough gold/silver/platinum to make those common metals, they do have many valuable uses outside of coins and jewelry and there is the cost factor of retrieval, so precious metals may still be quite precious even if found in abundance.