Life on the Billionth Rock From the Sun | Seth Shostak

SelfAwarePatterns

Seth Shostak has an article at HuffPost on asteroids.  Not the usual we-need-to-prepare-for-incoming, but discussing something I’ve noted before that the space age needs: an economic incentive.  As some of us have discussed, mining asteroids looks like it might be an excellent candidate.

These rocks are a resource. The fact that they’re in small chunks makes mining them as appealing as cat videos. And at least two companies are considering doing just that. The consequences could be mind-boggling. According to John Lewis, chief scientist for Deep Space Industries, if humanity can improve its recycling efforts, then ores smelted out of just the nearest asteroids will supply the needs of 80 billion of us until that distant day on which the sun dies.

That sure beats the slow and inevitable impoverishment that will be our fate if we confine mining to our own back yards (or preferably someone else’s back yard). The…

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