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Asteroid Exploration to Save Our Planet

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

You may be hearing all the hype surrounding how public and private space industries have joined forces to send humans to colonize Mars. The main reason, of course, is how the alleged, inevitable demise of our planet will require a new civilization to continue the evolution of our species. Yet, some answers might be found closer to home.

Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) number over ten thousand and may hold some keys to diverting earth destructing processes. It is no longer a fictional movie scenario but rather a current mission in progress where scientists are already exploring how to utilize NEA’s to save our planet.

Asteroid Mining

As many more people embrace solar and energy efficiency measures, there are still a slew of natural materials dwindling at an unprecedented rate. Some scientists feel that humans and robots can harvest precious metals and other essential materials from the treasure trove that continually rockets by our planet to replace destructive earth mining.

Rather than put all its efforts into a Mars mission, some feel that space exploration should include asteroid mining. This may enable humans to create a veritable, robotic manufacturing process that could become an environmental game changer. To be able to cease the decimation of our planet by mining an asteroid wasteland means billions less carbon output and more green space.

According to a Harvard University study,

“Asteroids often contain important metals such as iron, nickel, and cobalt, as well as small amounts of precious metals such as platinum. Given these considerations, a single asteroid with the right composition could be worth trillions of dollars in raw materials.”

There is also water on asteroids which means that as our planet falls into a water crisis, due to overuse by agricultural and manufacturing processes, water can be transported from asteroids until the crisis is diverted.

Space Factories

Another theory of how to utilize NEA’s, is transferring all earth manufacturing to these orbiting mini-planets or building factories akin to something like the International Space Station. This theory may become a reality once the logistics are figured out as it is not only enormously expensive to start but filled with all sorts of safety considerations.

Either way, space factories could be an enormous way humans take back their planet in one large sweep. Leftover factory space could be used to create such fixes as, sustainable agriculture like hemp, soy and bamboo; rain catchment fields; expansive green spaces to enhance more ecological healing; and solar farms for socially conscious attempts at changing municipal, fossil fuel sources.

Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos comments on the possibility of letting asteroids or floating space units take the brunt of heavy manufacturing,

“Energy is limited here. In at least a few hundred years...all of our heavy industry will be moved off-planet, Earth will be zoned residential and light industrial. You shouldn't be doing heavy energy on earth. We can build gigantic chip factories in space. We don't have to actually build them here,...The Earth shades itself, [whereas] in space you can get solar power 24/7....The problem with other planets ... people will visit Mars, and we will settle Mars, and people should because it's cool, but for heavy industry, I would actually put it in space."

Slingshot

Asteroid Exploration to Save Our PlanetAnother way to use NEA’s (and beyond) is to develop robotic extraction, refinery and construction technology placed on-board manned, space traveling ships. This technology would allow humans to slingshot from asteroid to asteroid using resources to refuel, repair and even sustain the health and safety of astronauts.

 

Asteroid exploration is not that far off. According to Chris Lewicki, President and CEO of Planetary Resources,

“People think that this is something that will be a century away, or maybe something that their grandkids might see, but people are already doing this. We already have two spacecraft in orbit around asteroids, and in the first half of the 2020s, we anticipate that we will be touching on the surface of the nearest asteroid and extracting the first really demonstrable amount of asteroid resources onsite.”

Once again, thinking ‘out-of-the-box’ could not only enhance life on earth as we know it but increase the longevity of our planet at the same time.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Politically Green, Save Energy and was tagged with asteroids, ENERGY EFFICIENT, industry, mining, NASA, NEA, resources, solar energy, space exploration, SUSTAINABLE

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