|2/10/2014 by mdc|
|But one major argument against mining in space is the astronomical costs associated with mining asteroids. A recent set of studies from Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics highlights just how problematic this might be. They say that ore is not simply a high concentration of some resource, but includes consideration of the cost of extraction of the resource and its price. Hence we need to sieve the total asteroid population for the smaller populations that may be profitable to mine.|
Dr. Martin Elvis used a simple formula for assessing how many near-Earth asteroids are ore-bearing. He found that for platinum group metals, the answer is currently only 10.
For water the number is much larger about 9,000, though they are generally quite small.
Elvis points out that if asteroid mining is to become a commercial reality, we need a better understanding of how many asteroids contain ore. See