A new “gold rush” is shaping up, only that, this time, space is the under the focus. Space mining would be an industry of billions of dollars as the asteroids, planets, and moons in our solar system are rich in precious metals and other valuable resources. But scientists want to protect the solar system from reckless space mining, and they ask worldwide governments to adopt some new sets of laws to regulate that future practice.
The scientists’ proposal stipulates that more than 85% of the entire solar system should be “off-limits” for human exploration for mining activities. That would leave the companies involved in space mining with only one-eighth of the total.
“If we don’t think about this now, we will go ahead as we always have, and in a few hundred years we will face an extreme crisis, much worse than we have on Earth now. Once you’ve exploited the solar system, there’s nowhere left to go,” stated Martin Elvis from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Scientists Want To Protect The Solar System From Space Mining
Companies in the sector of space mining are already planning to mine for platinum, gold, iron, and other metals found on asteroids. Besides, the moon is also under the focus since our natural satellite holds tons of water and helium-3 which would be useful for nuclear fusion reactors to produce safe energy.
While some of the mined materials would be brought to Earth, a small part of them would be used in space for building habitats and other things needed by the future colonists on the moon, Mars, or other planets. Also, some researchers dream about mining the Sun or gas giants in our solar system for precious resources. However, asteroids, the moon, Mars, and other rocky space objects are the primary targets for space mining.
Now, scientists decided that it’s the right time to establish some limits to space mining and protect the solar system. “If everything goes right, we could be sending our first mining missions into space within ten years. Once it starts and somebody makes an enormous profit, there will be the equivalent of a gold rush. We need to take it seriously,” concluded Martin Elvis.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.