There’s a LOT of money flying through space. It’s waiting for someone to come and collect it. Someone who can figure out how to mine asteroids.
Want to be part of that? A shiny master’s degree in Space Resources from the Colorado School of Mines could help you make it a reality.
The incentive is certainly there. Take 16 Psyche for instance — an asteroid that consists almost exclusively of nickel-iron metal. The iron in 16 Psyche alone is estimated to be worth $10,000 quadrillion.
By comparison, the entire global economy today is worth meagre $78 trillion. In other words, if you could extract all iron from this asteroid alone, you could give every human on Earth about $100 billion (NASA).
One could almost say these numbers are truly…astronomical (ba dum tss).
First education program of its kind
Colorado School of Mines is a public teaching and research university with special expertise in the development and stewardship of the Earth’s natural resources
According to the school’s website, the program seeks to train people for jobs in the burgeoning space resources industry.
“The broad topic of space resources brings together many fields in which Mines has a strong presence, including remote sensing, geomechanics, mining, materials/metallurgy, robotics/automation, advanced manufacturing, electrochemistry, solar and nuclear energy, and resource economics.”
If that’s not an impressively sounding list of subjects, I don’t know what is.
Space mining possible with today’s tech
It’s hardly surprising that programs like these begin to appear. We can no longer ignore the sheer amount of resources we could extract from space.
What’s more, we already have the technology.
Last year, a former NASA scientist presented a report saying that space mining is possible with today’s tech. And we’ll probably see it happen within a few decades.
They claim that Falcon Heavy has almost single-handedly increased the number of asteroids we’re able to mine from a few hundred to several thousand.
But is Falcon Heavy enough? Not even close.
We need to build an orbital transportation hub, a space fuel depot, a deep-space communication relay, and many other parts of the mining infrastructure.
And obviously, we need a way to drill boreholes in zero gravity. Maybe Elon Musk’s Boring Company could help us with that eventually?
Space mining as an answer to metal scarcity
Many metals that underpin our modern economy are quickly being depleted.
Gold, silver, copper, platinum, even lead and tin are due to run out in the next 100 years.
Try to build a spaceship without these metals. You couldn’t even build a smartphone without them.
Which is why we need to start looking elsewhere. This might easily be our last chance.
On the other hand, an asteroid of 2km in diameter (3554 Amun) would provide the Earth with enough metal for decades.
What’s more, it would allow us to fund a space program 10,000 times larger than we have now. And let us colonize our solar system.
Another gold rush in the making?
Even governments around the world are beginning to understand this.
Luxembourg has established a $227 million fund to entice space mining companies to set up shop in the tiny nation.
Middle Eastern oil states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are looking to space to decrease their dependance on fossil fuel.
Even Goldman Sachs admitted that “space mining could be more realistic than perceived.” And if Goldman Sachs is already saying this to their investors, you know that it’s bound to happen sooner rather than later.
So what can YOU do with all this information? Space mining seems like a safe investment.
If you don’t have a few billion dollars to invest at the moment, all you can do is wait for the glorious future to arrive.
Or you can invest your time instead, get a degree in Space Resources from the Colorado School of Mines and score a job mining asteroids before everybody else does.