"We know the world must move to cleaner energy sources to head off the worst
effects of climate change, but the technology required for the transition is
very mineral-intensive. So where will all these resources come from?
Many in the space industry are pointing beyond Earth. Asteroids and the Moon
are thought to contain abundant platinum group elements needed in the
transition, as well as other valuable resources. This has prompted a push
towards commercial mining in outer space.
California-based company AstroForge is the latest company to make strides into
the space mining rush. The company last week announced plans to launch two
missions this year – one to refine platinum from a sample of asteroid-like
material, and another to find an asteroid near Earth to mine.
Proponents of mining in space often point to the potential benefits for Earth
and its people. But how certain are these benefits? Our research casts doubt on
many of them."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics