With space mining "no longer science fiction," Nautilus' Ramin Skibba worries about the consequences of claiming valuable asteroids by different countries. Not only this will hamper research, but it may even "extend geopolitical struggles into astropolitical ones" as nations race to claim the most valuable resources.
Like all forms of mining, it will be dangerous. If space-mining activities break up asteroids, the resulting debris could be hazardous for satellites, other spacecraft, and astronauts nearby. On the other hand, in a best-case scenario, space mining could be environmentally safe, capture only necessary minerals and water, and, in the more distant future even lead to the construction of a far-flung space station led by NASA and other space agencies, orbiting 200 million miles from Earth and serving as both a mining depot and a pit-stop for passing spacecraft.
But it’s not clear that a pact between the commercial space mining industry and NASA would align with the public’s interest. NASA’s increasing collaboration with space mining companies could distort and divert efforts previously focused on space exploration and basic research, and discourage public interest and engagement in astronomy.
|If NASA Had the Budget of the U.S. Military|
|"Earth came early to the party in the evolving universe."|
|"Draft law giving private operators working in space confidence about their rights to the extraterrestrial resources."|
|The New Exoplanet We Found? Might Not Exist|
|SpaceX's Reusable Grasshopper Rocket, Demonstrates Its Hovering Abilities|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“Rubbish waste is now so prolific it will become fossilised.”|
|“Google isn’t liable because it is nothing and nowhere and endless.”|
|The Growth of Corruption Reporting Websites|
|Volvo's cab-less self-driving cloud-controlled electric truck|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|"Emotional-processing software has gotten so good that ad companies are looking into 'mood-targeted' advertising."|
|Hit "Insert Coin" Twice and Play Google Pac Man With Two Players|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“The first-ever driverless mass transit test program.”|
|“People talk about bankers being amoral. They are starting to talk about tech people in similar language.”|
|Delight and Destroy Show by Death Spray|