Asteroid Mining | What is the Process of Asteroid Mining?

Asteroid mining or space mining is the process of mining an asteroid, comets, other minor planets, moons, etc to exploit its mineral content. It is done carefully by Selecting, Cataloging, Considering the exploited material content from it.

Asteroid mining

Why do we need to mine asteroids?

Our beloved earth served as our home for millions of years. But we exploited our own home i.e., our earth for its rich mineral content especially, rare earth elements which are used in high technology devices. Due to the increase in technology and population, demand for these rare earth elements rose abruptly. Which leads us to overexploit over our own planet resource. In the coming few decades our earth won’t be able to provide us required raw materials for our technological devices then comes the part to search beyond our planet for our requirements.

Rare earth elements available in asteroid

Why asteroids and other celestial bodies are chosen for mining?

We know our earth was formed due to BigBang that is due to the collision of other heavenly bodies and then turning into a piece of space debris in the molten state. which then pulled all heavy metals or iron-containing elements into it due to its gravity(attraction) which formed our earth. That is initially our earth didn’t have rare earth elements in abundance. During its formation, many asteroids and meteors were fallen or get pulled by earth attraction which made our earth mineral rich! So we can say the source of our earth’s mineral content is from other heavenly bodies so we opt to mine them.


The Process of Asteroid Mining.

The process of asteroid mining is not as easy compared to earth mining because in this case, we have to select an asteroid and get data about its content, we have to catalog its trajectory, we have to get skillful miners and astronauts for the job, and we have to carry the exploited resource back to earth or the space station. This requires billions of dollars for building the required craft and designing the tools for mining.

1.Selecting the Cataloged Asteroids for Mining.

We have to select asteroids based on the most economical processes i.e., selecting an asteroid that is moving closer to earth at some point of its trajectory and having the mineral content we require and the time that it stays within the feasible limit for the miners to return. Don’t worry about all these selection criteria because our scientists have screened and almost 9000 asteroids in our solar system and had found 10 potential targets for the mining they are Ryugu, Nereus, Bennu, Didymos, Anteros, 1989ML, 1992TC, 2001CC21, 2001SG10, 2011UW158.

2.Mining Techniques.

Mining techniques are the areas where our engineers have to use their brains to propose feasible methods for extraction while considering that we are working in an unfamiliar location, we are wearing a suit weight almost double our body weight, We have specific time limits. While keeping every aspect of the mining we have to propose a feasible and economical method of extraction.


3.Transportation of Mined products.

There are different ways to deal with the mined products,

1.To return to earth with the mined raw material.

2.Taking it to the space station for processing.

3.Converting the mined raw material into fuel.

Transporter used to transport mined asteroid materials

I was inspired by the movie Armageddon(1998 film) and Netflix series The 100 to write this Blog. Armageddon was about a big asteroid that will impact Earth in a short time causing an extinction-level event that will wipe out all life on the planet. In the film, NASA scientists plan to drill a deep shaft into the asteroid and plant a nuclear weapon which, when detonated, will split the asteroid into two halves that will fly safely past Earth. The 100 Season 4 Eligius Mission 4 was sent to mine asteroids at the end of the world for making fuel by using 300 prisoners as workers while the earth was at its peak stage. alert-info

Asteroid falling from space

Asteroid mining Companies.

Asteroid mining companies formed and involved in this process are Space resources, Deep Space Industries, Space X, Blue Origin, Asteroid mining corporation these private organizations and companies are sending satellites and rovers to celestial bodies like asteroids and planets to catalog them.

Asteroids catalogue

Financial Feasibility.

The main problem behind not going for space mining is the amount or the cost that it takes to build the machinery. No problem about the profit because it will fetch huge profits after mining the celestial bodies, but the only problem is the initial investment of billions of dollars in an unvoyaged project. Let’s hope our mankind will excel beyond the limit and make a  mark in this Universe. Asteroid Mining may be a dream now but let us hope it will soon come into reality as we running low on resources on the earth.

Contact us for any queries or page edits and do subscribe/button/red to our email newsletter to get updates on the latest posts.



Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post