Space mining is the exploitation of minerals from bodies in outer space. This type of mining has been heralded as a new way to obtain minerals without the environmental risks associated with land mining. This is in addition to revolutionizing the commercial space economy by creating employment opportunities for private astronauts and robots.
Many believe that space mining is the future because it can facilitate the exploration for and extraction of precious metals and rare earth minerals from near-Earth asteroids. However, little has been done to advance the idea.
Recently, an egg-shaped, near-Earth asteroid with a 330-meter diameter passed near our planet, which started this discussion again. Researchers believe that this asteroid, dubbed 4660 Nereus, contains precious metals worth about $5 billion. The asteroid didn’t come as close to Earth as many thought, given that it was closest to our home planet at almost 4 million kilometers away. This distance is roughly 10 times the distance between the moon and Earth.
Researchers estimate that it will pass by our planet about four decades from now, highlighting that at this time, it may be possible to launch space miners and see how we can utilize the metal deposits the asteroid holds.
A report released by Asterank states that 4660 Nereus is comprised of $4.7 billion worth of nickel, cobalt and iron. Asterank has an economic and scientific database of more than 600,000 asteroids. Despite its findings, however, more research is needed to shed more light on the asteroid’s characteristics.
Unistellar’s chief science officer, Franck Marchis, stated recently that in February 2060, this particular asteroid would be flying about 1.2 million kilometers from the earth, which would be an ideal time for space miners to try and land on it. He added that the asteroid could play a huge role in the future of space exploration by providing essential resources. Unistellar is a company focused on the manufacture of digital telescopes.
With regard to Earth’s safety, given the asteroid’s recent flybys, researchers categorize the asteroid as possibly hazardous. Researchers usually categorize any objects that come close to our planet and are big enough to cause significant damage as potentially hazardous. This classification suggests that objects such as the egg-shaped asteroid may cause danger in the future when they cross our planet’s orbit.
Fortunately, when Nereus passes by our planet in 2060, it will still be far away at five times the distance between the moon and the Earth. It would be interesting to see how the effect of space mining would have on the operations of mining entities such as StraightUp Resources Inc. (CSE: ST) (OTCQB: STUPF).
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to StraightUp Resources Inc. (CSE: ST) (OTCQB: STUPF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/STUPF
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