Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cosmic Asperations

Image: manostphoto /

Natural resources on Earth are limited.  The geological processes that create materials cannot keep pace with the rate at which we're using them.  Not even close.

It makes sense that we have to start expanding our horizons to include outer space when we look for the materials needed to sustain us.  It was only a matter of time before someone had the inspiration and determination to start mining asteroids.  Planetary Resources Inc., which is being backed by the deep pockets and grand imaginations of James Cameron and others, plans to do just that.

They're everywhere, and they have materials that could be invaluable to us.  Now, there are arguments both for and against this enterprise.  One argument is that the cost is so high to retrieve these materials that it would be a waste.  There are also, as there are with any new endeavor, risks involved.

Here's where I fall on the issue.  Resources will undoubtedly run low.  The cost of sending anything into space is also high.  If we have a mining operation set up in space, we could build ships and colonies more cheaply because we would no longer have to pay to launch them from Earth.  This is expensive in the short term, yes, but in the end, it could pay off in so many ways.

I guess we'll see how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, did you see Neil deGrasse Tyson on TV this morning too? :) I agree with you. It will be expensive to set up, but once it's done, the possibilities are great.