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Feb 22, 2019

New Policies Needed to Advance Space Mining

Posted by in categories: economics, space

By Ian Christensen, Ian Lange, George Sowers, Angel Abbud-Madrid, Morgan Bazilian

Space has long captured the human imagination—as a source of wonder, a place of discovery, a realm for aspirations. But increasingly, space is viewed as a frontier of economic opportunity as scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs invest their ingenuity and wealth to bring the vastness of space within human grasp.

This economic development hinges on an ability to utilize what we term “space resources.” The resources in just the inner solar system are nearly infinite compared with those on Earth. For example, one large metallic asteroid such as 16 Psyche is thought to contain enough metals to last humans for millions of years at current consumption rates. And society has barely scratched the surface in harnessing the energy of the sun. Accessing space resources is increasingly important as the world confronts the finite nature of resources and the increasing environmental and social costs to develop them.

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