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Asteroid mining : a review of methods and aspects

Hellgren, Vide LU (2016) In Student thesis series INES NGEK01 20161
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
According to many sources - such as television and science - the final frontier is space. And seemingly, one of the hottest related topics today are asteroids and their presumed promise of inherent wealth - or doom - depending on who reaches who first. The wealth is represented mainly by volatiles for fuel production and precious metals for technological development. The doom is represented by a possible impact from an asteroid. This review has evaluated the main techniques and technologies being developed and tested to explore, prospect and harvest near-Earth asteroids estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Further, the two major space-related companies Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries and their respective approaches to... (More)
According to many sources - such as television and science - the final frontier is space. And seemingly, one of the hottest related topics today are asteroids and their presumed promise of inherent wealth - or doom - depending on who reaches who first. The wealth is represented mainly by volatiles for fuel production and precious metals for technological development. The doom is represented by a possible impact from an asteroid. This review has evaluated the main techniques and technologies being developed and tested to explore, prospect and harvest near-Earth asteroids estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Further, the two major space-related companies Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries and their respective approaches to asteroid mining have been reviewed as well. Ultimately, the aspects of financial feasibility and environmental and legal issues have been approached.
It was found that a future space mission to harvest asteroids seems prosperous and even plausible in the near future of possibly a few decades if using a cost-effective mission architecture. The necessary knowledge increases quickly due to interests of profit and exploration and space is among the fastest growing businesses. Theories on how to commercialize space were scrutinized to find negative effects to humanity and environment, though only a few were found – most side effects seem beneficial to the human race and the main ones are described in the text. And naturally, as the main themes of this thesis consist of future projects and their implications, much of the information herein is stated as estimations and speculations. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Undetermined)
Enligt många källor – såsom television och vetenskap – är rymden mänsklighetens sista barriär. Och som det verkar är en av de hetaste rymdrelaterade ämnena idag asteroider och deras antydan till antingen rikedom eller undergång. Rikedomen representeras mestadels av flyktiga ämnen och vatten som kan användas till bränsleproduktion och dyrbara metaller för teknologisk utveckling. Undergången representeras av en möjlig kollision med en asteroid.
Denna recension har utvärderat de vanligaste teknikerna och teknologin som utvecklas och testas för att upptäcka, utvärdera och skörda jordnära asteroiders resurser med ett värde uppskattat till flera miljarder US dollar. Vidare så recenseras även tillvägagångssätten för de två största rymdföretagen... (More)
Enligt många källor – såsom television och vetenskap – är rymden mänsklighetens sista barriär. Och som det verkar är en av de hetaste rymdrelaterade ämnena idag asteroider och deras antydan till antingen rikedom eller undergång. Rikedomen representeras mestadels av flyktiga ämnen och vatten som kan användas till bränsleproduktion och dyrbara metaller för teknologisk utveckling. Undergången representeras av en möjlig kollision med en asteroid.
Denna recension har utvärderat de vanligaste teknikerna och teknologin som utvecklas och testas för att upptäcka, utvärdera och skörda jordnära asteroiders resurser med ett värde uppskattat till flera miljarder US dollar. Vidare så recenseras även tillvägagångssätten för de två största rymdföretagen Planetary Resources och Deep Space Industries. Slutligen så beskrivs även den finansiella genomförbarheten samt den miljömässiga och juridiska aspekten.
Resulterande information indikerar att ett framtida uppdrag för att skörda asteroider tycks kunna vara både möjligt och framgångsrikt om en kostnadseffektiv strategi används , möjligen till och med inom ett decennium. Den nödvändiga informationen ökar snabbt tack vare intressen för förtjänst och upptäckande, och rymdindustrin är en av dagens snabbast växande. Teorier om hur rymden kan kommersialiseras rannsakades för att finna negativa effekter på människor och miljö. Dock upptäcktes endast ett fåtal sådana – de flesta bieffekter, varav de största beskrivs i uppsatsen, verkar vara till nytta för mänskligheten. Det bör också uttryckas att eftersom de generella teman som utgör denna uppsats berör framtida projekt och deras implikationer, är delar av informationen som härmed framförs främst baserad på uppskattningar och spekulationer. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hellgren, Vide LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Gruvdrift på Asteroider : en recension av metoder och aspekter
course
NGEK01 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
planetary resources, Physical Geography, remote sensing, asteroid mining, space, deep space industries
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
384
language
English
id
8882371
date added to LUP
2016-06-20 15:22:49
date last changed
2016-06-21 16:53:58
@misc{8882371,
  abstract     = {According to many sources - such as television and science - the final frontier is space. And seemingly, one of the hottest related topics today are asteroids and their presumed promise of inherent wealth - or doom - depending on who reaches who first. The wealth is represented mainly by volatiles for fuel production and precious metals for technological development. The doom is represented by a possible impact from an asteroid. This review has evaluated the main techniques and technologies being developed and tested to explore, prospect and harvest near-Earth asteroids estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Further, the two major space-related companies Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries and their respective approaches to asteroid mining have been reviewed as well. Ultimately, the aspects of financial feasibility and environmental and legal issues have been approached. 
It was found that a future space mission to harvest asteroids seems prosperous and even plausible in the near future of possibly a few decades if using a cost-effective mission architecture. The necessary knowledge increases quickly due to interests of profit and exploration and space is among the fastest growing businesses. Theories on how to commercialize space were scrutinized to find negative effects to humanity and environment, though only a few were found – most side effects seem beneficial to the human race and the main ones are described in the text. And naturally, as the main themes of this thesis consist of future projects and their implications, much of the information herein is stated as estimations and speculations.},
  author       = {Hellgren, Vide},
  keyword      = {planetary resources,Physical Geography,remote sensing,asteroid mining,space,deep space industries},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Student thesis series INES},
  title        = {Asteroid mining : a review of methods and aspects},
  year         = {2016},
}