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What do we need to know to mine an asteroid?

19 Sep 2017, 05:00 UTC
What do we need to know to mine an asteroid? Montage by Emily Lakdawalla. Data from NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/UMD/JAXA/ESA/OSIRIS team/Russian Academy of Sciences/China National Space Agency. Processed by Emily Lakdawalla, Daniel Machacek, Ted Stryk, Gordan Ugarkovic.

The mining of resources contained in asteroids, for use as propellant, building materials or in life-support systems, has the potential to revolutionise exploration of our Solar System. To make this concept a reality, we need to increase our knowledge of the very diverse population of accessible Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). Last year, dozens of the world’s leading asteroid scientists and asteroid mining entrepreneurs came together in Luxembourg to discuss key questions and identify scientific knowledge gaps. A White Paper outlining the results of that discussion, “Answers to Questions from the Asteroid Miners” will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2017 in Riga on Tuesday 19th September by Dr JL Galache and Dr Amara Graps.

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