When many people think of mining, they picture an expansive red outback, the sun beating down on a constant to-and-fro of removing materials from the earth. But what if the future of mining painted a totally different picture?
Mining in space
Recently, much talk of mining has shifted away from the earth to consider the possibilities of a brand new location: space. Specifically, there is increasing interest in the raw materials to be found in the formations that are whizzing around the earth with alarming regularity.
Asteroids are home to many of the materials that we prize so highly in modern industries. Water and platinum are just two previous resources that could open up a trillion dollar industry, providing a near infinite supply to support growth both on our planet, or maybe our next.
Who’s leading the frontier?
Of course, mining in space comes with many challenges, the foremost being financial. One of the major challenges is the expense of getting necessary mining supplies into space, with launch costs currently sitting at about US$10,000 per kilogram. With Australia no longer supporting the funding of NASA research, who will be leading the next frontier?