January 12, 2015
Space exploration is a very interesting topic and has lead to many improvements in our technology. Now, since the space race is over, we have less of an incentive to explore the solar system. One incentive to space exploration that could make the stars closer to us all is asteroid mining. The opportunity costs are much less than what could be gained from it and could revolutionise the world.
Currently the country is recovering from a recession and with other internal issues, the money could be spent in other places to make it more worthwhile. Obama has suggested that space exploration be left to private firms, this way we can save billions of dollars and the money will be used elsewhere and we can still have things going on in orbit (Pasztor) sent by private businesses. I agree, if we don’t put government money into it, we can save money that could be used to balance our debt and solve other internal issues. On the other hand, if we succeed in mining an asteroid it could bring trillions of dollars into our market, not only benefiting consumers by decreasing the costs of materials mined by decreasing their scarcity, but also decreasing the cost of space travel in general. “[A few months ago] the asteroid 1012_DA14 measuring a mere 150 feet (45m) zoomed passed Earth. It, however, had $65 billion worth of water and $130 billion worth of metals within it,” (New Frontier).
Asteroid mining, simply enough, is launching a probe or spacecraft to mine resources from asteroids. Every day this concept becomes more and more possible as teams are already underway developing ways to mine asteroids and owning things besides probes and spacecraft in space recently became legal. If this type of program takes off it could mean a new era of space exploration. In some ways it is almost a requirement for humans to survive as a species. As our populations grow, we will either need to enact laws limiting growth or we need more resources from an outside source (New Frontier).
Asteroid mining is a clear part of our future if we want to survive as a species -- It’s also really cool. I think we can expect it to positively affect our economy while also making scarce materials more common.
Pasztor, Andy “Commercial Space: Obama proposes turning NASA work to private firms,” The Wall Street Journal. 24 Jan 2010. Web. 12 Jan 2016.
Gowan, Rajesh. "Exploring the New Frontier: Space Mining." NotEnoughGoodcom. Not Enough Good, 2016. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.