The advantage of mining asteroids are, pardon the pun, tremendous and may very well involve the long-term survival of humanity. Stephen Hawking has repeatedly cautioned that mankind must leave Earth and start colonising other parts of the solar system.
The ultimate objective should be to visit and colonise other star systems. The main justification for doing this is that several disasters, whether they are man-made or natural, have the potential to end all life on Earth or to send us back thousands of years.
It costs a lot of energy to launch supplies and equipment from Earth into orbit, making the construction of colonies on the moon and Mars expensive undertakings.
Advantages Of Asteroid Mining
An asteroid with its innards scooped out and set spinning to create artificial gravity is a common science fiction scenario. When the inside was given atmosphere, soil, and water, its inhabitants might see it as a cylinder with the “sky” on the opposite side.
Sunlight is captured by a parabolic mirror in this illustration from Dandridge Cole’s 1965 book Beyond Tomorrow: The Next 50 Years in Space, and it is then shot down the long axis to illuminate the inside-out “planet.”
We must start mining outside the gravitational well if we want colonising other worlds to be financially feasible in the long run. Resulting in less time consumption, “The Sooner The Better”
Moving resource-rich asteroids into high or distant orbits around Earth or the planet where the resources are needed, using a precise engineering plan to mine the asteroids’ interiors, and then establishing habitations, automated manufacturing, and perhaps even food production for space travel inside of them would be a great practise.
This way, we can move resources off the surface of the Earth at a lower cost while also obtaining access to big to vast amounts of usable, stable real estate inside mined asteroids, where most of the hard labour and money has already been invested in mining operations.
image credit: Quora
A Step Towards Improving Humanity’s Job in Exploration
According to Hawking’s theories, mining asteroids will also significantly improve humanity’s capacity to explore and colonise more of the solar system. If certain rare minerals and metals could be recovered via asteroid mining, colonising the moon and Mars would surely be made easier.
Our research has also shown that a number of huge moons orbiting gas giants harbour sizable saltwater oceans beneath their frozen surfaces, making them prospects for colonisation and expansion.
The immense technological difficulties caused by radiation and micrometeorites may even be overcome by hollowed-out asteroids acting as starships.
Can Be Utilised As A Launch Platform
An asteroid will be used as a launch platform for space-based rockets, as well as a convenient way station and demarcation point for spacecraft travelling to different parts of the solar system. Modular cycler vessels for material transfer as well as minerals, ores, and fuels from asteroids are included in an asteroid-based transportation resource.
Along with effective life support systems, solar energy sources, and artificial gravity created by acceleration around the long axis, a manned asteroid-based space civilization will be built.
Resources from asteroids will be developed, including industrial capability and exploitation of readily available raw materials (iron, aluminum, water ice, etc.).
The “instant” spacecraft would be created by mining and reconstructing a metalloid asteroid and then adding a propulsion system to enable travel throughout the solar system or even intergalactic missions.
By using a physically coherent asteroid rather than a loosely connected conglomerate kind, full protection from strong radiation and micrometeorites might be achieved, and reaction mass could be provided for a variety of propulsion systems.
Disadvantages Of Asteroid Mining
The engineering required to mine asteroids and establish remote colonies would increase the body of knowledge within our species, advance our quest to become a spacefaring race, and, perhaps most importantly in the long run, ensure humanity’s survival in the event of a global catastrophe on the ball of water and air we currently call home.
Burning Huge Amount Of Fuel
The fact that we haven’t started mining asteroid yet is the sole drawback.
The amount of rocket fuel required to transport any object in orbit must be more than that object’s weight.
Although it is not a law in and of itself, it provides context. Rocket fuel will be the easiest to mine and refine from an asteroid because you’ll have to do it anyhow. The first project you’ll work on is making gasoline somewhere.Rocket fuel cannot often be produced from rocky asteroids.
Indeed Asteroid Mining Is Not A “The Best Course Of Action”
Asteroids are simply too large to be moved, so this is not an option. It is probably not worthwhile to mine minor asteroids that can be relocated; instead, one may use them for scientific research rather than for commercial mining.
A Heck Of A Challenging Task To Perform
Asteroids frequently spin vigorously enough to make work on them challenging. Tracking will be challenging for solar panels. It is more difficult to land steadily.
It will be difficult to get a mechanical grasp, which will probably add to the dust halo, but it is necessary to be able to grind and dig material off the asteroid. The most likely application for an asteroid isto mine its materials and utilise them to build a space station that travels along its orbital path.
Read more: When will asteroid bennu hit Earth?
The process of extracting raw materials from asteroids and other small planets, which also includes near-Earth objects, is known as asteroids mining. An asteroid or spent comet can be mined for minerals, which can then be used as building materials in space or transported back to Earth.
By 2025, mining asteroids is probably going to be a reality. This is why it’s amazing: The stress on Earth’s resources increases as the planet’s population keeps rising. Earth has a limited supply of resources, despite the claim of ecologists that we are not yet at the tipping point.