Could Asteroid Mining Fuel Deep Space Travel?

Could Asteroid Mining Fuel Deep Space Travel?


If we want to colonize space, we have to figure out how to generate a large supply of life sustaining resources. The most important being water. The good news is, traces of water have been
detected throughout our solar system. And asteroids may hold the most accessible
abundance of water that we know of. There are likely millions of asteroids within
our solar system and over 18,000 are classified as near-Earth objects – meaning they’re located
relatively close to our planet. It’s estimated that collectively these asteroids
could hold two trillion metric tons of water. While others are thought to hold rare Earth
minerals and metals worth trillions of dollars. So could we mine these space rocks? There are a lot of different types of asteroids,
all of which orbit the Sun with most inhabiting the region between Mars and Jupiter known
as the asteroid belt. One way they’re classified is by spectral
type, which is based on their emission spectrum, color and albedo. Most asteroids fall into three classes: C-Type,
S-Type and M-type each of which could be extremely valuable for their unique resources. C-type asteroids are thought to be the most common. C stands for carbon, which accounts for their
dark color and a large part of their composition along with silicate rocks and clay. Meanwhile, less common, S-Type or silicaceous
asteroids are greenish to reddish and are thought to be made of silicate materials and
nickel-iron. Similarly, M-Type asteroids also seem to be
made up of mostly nickel-iron, which is why they’re called metallic asteroids. S and M-Types are thought to be instant money
makers due to their abundance of precious metals. It’s estimated a football field sized asteroid
could hold $25 to $50 billion worth of platinum alone. But of all the asteroids, C-Types are referred
to as the best all-around for mining and that’s because they have high abundances of water
bound up as hydrated clay minerals. Water is not only critical for space colonization,
but it can also be broken down into its constituents – hydrogen and oxygen – and used as rocket
fuel. It takes a lot of energy to leave Earth’s
atmosphere, so mined asteroids could potentially solve propulsion problems by providing space
sourced fuel. So are cosmic gas stations really possible? Well, the beginnings of the asteroid rush
are full speed ahead. First, we have to learn more about near-Earth
asteroids and their mining potential. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is on a mission
to the potentially hazardous asteroid, Bennu. The spacecraft will attempt to collect samples
of dust from Bennu’s surface and bring them back to Earth. There are also private companies joining this
futuristic space race – all hoping to crack this potentially trillion dollar industry. All they have to do is figure out a way to
mine massive rocks moving at over 20 kilometers per second… in space. No big deal. If you want to learn more about the potential for cosmic colonization check out this episode here about the great lengths it takes to get to Mars and if you like what you see, make sure to subscribe to Seeker. Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Could Asteroid Mining Fuel Deep Space Travel?

  1. What are the chances of an Asteroid lining up with your planned route ? If you were flying to Mars, then you would have to calculate the orbit of the desired asteroid. If the orbit is different than Earths, which I am pretty sure it will be ; then We would have to put up thousands of stations on the various asteroids. I dont think this would be feasible. The Moon may be another option ??? I would assume the Lunar atmosphere could hold a refueling station It would be " slightly " easier to calculate the Moons orbit and arrange it with the flight.

    The 1/6th gravity would save money on the " blast off "

  2. Traces of water? Jesus every were we look we find the stuff.. Maybe it's a result of the sun.. Aka the sun water hypothathise…

  3. So asteriods can be monetized too. For fks sake my YouTube videos cant be monetized.
    Then again I am not surprised.

  4. This is the dumbest waste of time. You’re never going to harness energy from an asteroid moving hundreds to thousands of meters per second relative to earth. Simply retarded to think there will be mining equipment on an asteroid. You people have brain damage. Stupid just like idiocracy predicted

  5. Not a practical source of energy for deep space travel. Asteroids are orbiting planets or the sun at high speeds. You would need to match the speed and inclination to the body it's orbiting. Even if you did do that you would be off inclination to your final destination and would waste additional fuel and time to make a course correction mid flight. Orbital mechanics limit our options for space flight unfortunately.

  6. I'd be interested in seeing what the S types would do if a big enough one burned up into the atmosphere. Reason being is Silica is known to cause teeth to fall out(Which is also the reason for Meth Mouth since someone decided it'd be a good addon, which is dumb because Nazi's used meth and had little problem with what is called "Meth Mouth" or should I say "Silica mouth")
    An entire world of toothless people would make for some interesting Television shows

  7. Ok but, if we start to make a lot of money from asteroids those materials price will probably get lower and lower ( due to the amount of raw material that we could get from asteroids) until the price itself of the spaceship to mine it will be higher then selling it
    By the way I just woke up and 15 and I'm not English so I may have done some huge English mistakes 😂

  8. If we are going at the speed of light, what speed will we measure of a light beam going parallel to us in the same direction?

  9. The value of any resource is determined by 1) it's scarcity, and 2) its utility. Ergo, mining asteroids would increase the supply, threatening global markets. The fix would be to pull a DeBeers and regulate space mining, which would imply ratifying the UN outer space treaty; something you probably don't wanna do anyhow. So while mining in space might make sense in the future, the financial model that makes it work might easily be more complicated than meets the eye. Science Fiction, meet economics (and shake hands, please).

  10. I think all this dreaming about colonizing other planets or mining asteroids is completely moot. It doesn't matter if we can FUEL deep space travel, as we are nowhere near achieving the actual CAPABILITY of deep space travel in the first place, and probably never will. We need starships larger than we can build and launch from Earth, that can mine and haul all this shit, so we can build more ships and facilities, and expand. So we need habitation and manufacturing facilities in orbit to build the first ships. We need an economical and faster way to get materials from Earth into orbit to build those facilities, like a space elevator. Even if these things were possible right now on a tech/engineering/logistics level, the money and resource costs would be…astronomical. Oh, and we need ships capable of FTL, or at very least, travel at some fraction of light-speed. And we don't have any of that.

  11. If asteroids have different elements and also have water why not send rockets to attach to them, so we can control there movements and also we could see what kind of elements are on them and crash the asteroids with the right elements into mars and terraform it by using all the water and elements inside the asteroids. Is that possible?

  12. Any venture into space that is not working towards gathering resources from space is a complete waste of time, energy and resources.

  13. Asteroid mining could even help finance space colonization! The smallest asteroids probably have several hundred billion dollars worth of material, this is enough for a small town on Luna or Mars or to build a small rotating space habitat spacestead with artificial gravity, buildings, etc.

  14. When satellite goes near to the astroid, what kinda gravity or some kinda pressure does it feel? I mean like what kinda vibrations does the astroid feel.

  15. You can't really mine M-type asteroids, they're usually monolithic metal structures which are nearly impossible to break up in smaller pieces needed to transport and process the ore.

    The best source for metals in asteroids are the S-types.

  16. With current plans, not likely…the payload sections likely won't be able to transport enough material to make a profit…if a launch costs 2 billion dollars, and profit s are 75 million, then profit a won't be made.

  17. Faster travel has to be made as well…if it takes 9 years to travel to the sort cloud, a yr to mine it, and 9 yrs to travel back to earth…it ll be around 2 decades to get a shipment…nothing will get done…

  18. The minerals arent worth trillions when the first asteroid gets harnessed because when we capture our first one we will have a huge supply available of said minerals. This will lead to drops in prices for raw materials we find.

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