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Asteroid Mining : An Opportunity


Yes, you read it right, mining on asteroids. As we know mining is basically a technical process of mineral extraction and at present minerals are being extracted in different parts of the world. But there are limited resources of minerals on earth which will exhaust one day for sure. Considering this, search of new mineral resourcedestination bring us up to the concept of Asteroid Mining.In which mining activities such as prospecting, excavating, extraction and storagewill be performed literally out of this world, which will fulfil our future need of not only minerals but also of water. Asteroids arethe celestial bodies smaller than planets and revolving around sun in orbits.All major asteroids found between the Mars and the Jupiter in asteroid belt. The very first stage of the concept of asteroid mining involves understanding asteroids, through astronomical telescopes and space expeditions. For example-American space agency NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)gave the details of formation of asteroid and inJapan space agency JAXA’s Hayabusa Mission collection of sample of the near earth object was successfully done. Next is prospecting through special rovers (spacecraft)and then mine arrangements. Mining is always being a challenging field but when it comes to Asteroid mining challenges will occur at a far higher level. Very less gravity and no atmosphere like earth on asteroid will maketransportation of equipment and materials easy but on other hand will create difficulties for stability of mine structures and collection of mined out minerals.At present there is no exact description of how will be the future mine on asteroid but we can discuss some of the features required such asmachineries used for the extraction will have light weight for easy transportation and will be solar power supported so that no required of fuel hauled by spacecraft, automated mining technology so that less number of crew members are required for field operation.Estimated cost of this concept is very high but through advancement in technologies and global collaboration we can makeasteroid mining achievable in future.And eventually we will extend and boost our space capabilities with having multiple new mineral resourcesnot only on asteroids but also on differentcelestial bodies.



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