June 28, 2022

What Are Some Issues of Space Mining and Processing?

The main barrier to exploring and extracting the natural resources on other planets and asteroids is the high costs of such a mission. With the current technological and communication advancements, the available infrastructure is not ready yet to commercialize these missions. There is a strong need for investments in space mining business to launch large scale mining projects which will have payback period of decades long.

Image Credit and Copyright: NASA

The other problem with mining activities in the space is the absent of legal and ethical regulations which is leading to chaotic and irresponsible adventures into space. There have been several startup companies founded to seriously develop projects extracting resources from asteroids, moon and other objects in the space. With the lack of rules and ethical standards, there are concerns that these companies will significantly contribute to the wealth inequality on earth.

Additionally, to mitigate the risk of any conflicts, the international community should emphasis on collaboration and focus on creating multinational exploration teams that satisfies the needs of different nations.

The other negative impact of space mining and processing is the environmental issues generated.

Image Credit and Copyright: Harvard Business School

Although we still don’t have the technology needed to commercially explore and mine space resources, it is not too early to talk about the potential adverse effects of such an activity on the universe and specifically our solar system. We need to start promoting the importance of environmental preservation and protection along with the advances in the space exploration technologies so that we stay ahead of any potential hazardous activities.

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