Since our mineral resources are starting to run out, a lot of companies are looking into the possibility of asteroid mining. But wait, it’s not that easy. There are still a lot of challenges ahead as companies develop the right technologies for outer space mining. At least the US has already worked on the legal aspect of mining in asteroids though.
But how is it possible for asteroid mining to occur when it’s not very economical for companies to send spacecrafts to space and collect minerals?
Source: Space via Popular Science
A 3D printing company (based in Mountain View, California) just had a brilliant idea. Made In Space suggested that we’d let the asteroids come to us instead. According to Mike Wall from Space.com, this concept is called Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata, RAMA. This technology uses 3D printing that turns asteroids into self-flying vehicles. An unmanned spacecraft would be launched into space and goes to an asteroid. It’ll mine minerals and uses these samples into a 3D print simple propulsion, then sends them to our planet. As soon as it’s done with the asteroid, it’ll move on to the next one.
NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program gave $100,000 to the concept to provide funds for its feasibility studies. We’ll just have to see if this becomes a reality for all of us.
Source: Peace Library