How much would it cost the taxpayer to mine asteroids? NASA says about $2billion. Firstly an asteroid would have be in high lunar orbit so as to be affordable and meaningful for astronauts to work on a 500 ton rock.
However some say bringing something that weighs that much is too big and disruptive a thing to have inside Earth's Orbit.Why?Because it could perturb our oceans and continent land masses,it could also cause atmospheric shifts that would bend the space-time around our planet.
The moon's gravitic effects are minimized which means that we on earth gets so much closer to an actual moon base. Having said that the Moon has nothing to lose if it were hit by an asteroid,whereas as we on Earth have everything to lose if bringing into our orbit a rock that weighs 500 tons. What if it all goes wrong suddenly and space mining "experts" cock's it all up?
Low Earth Orbits are cluttered and filled-to-the-brims already! The Moon being a gravitational anchor,could stimulate Earth-Moon transportation? You would think so. If you decide to mine the asteroids,do you health insurance and doctors with particle physics degrees to cover the human miners doing the mining? Or maybe they plan to use robotics as miners instead doing their mining via remote control.
Retrieving an asteroid for human exploration and exploitation would provide a new rationale for global achievements and inspiration in space ventures. Since the completion of the American cold-war-based Apollo programs, there hasn't been the over-arching geo-political rationale for space exploration has there? Human presence in cislunar space by 2020 will both enable exploration and exploitation of the returned near-Earth asteroids.
Shouldn't the taxpayers money be much better spent steering asteroids away from destroying life on the planet instead? You decide. The ability to discover and characterize an adequate number of sufficiently small near-Earth asteroids for mining is costing the taxpayer more than enough. Then there is the evolving ability to implement sufficiently powerful solar electric propulsion systems that would enable the transportation of such an asteroid when captured.
The idea of exploiting the natural resources of asteroids dates back to over a 100 years. However, only now has the technology become available to make this idea a reality. Capturing, transporting, examining and dissecting an entire near-Earth asteroid,would provide important information for planetary defensive activities that may someday have to deflect a much larger near-Earth object. So the future of man is in the stars and this is the prove for that. And that's not just some con artist idea
. References: 1.Collaborative Modelling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS). 2.NASA Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland. 3.the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS). 4.SPACE.com
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