First of all, saying it makes my mouth happy. It’s like P90X for the lips and cheeks.
Secondly we are within 2 years of figuring out which of these dirty ice balls will better our life. There are already a few companies trying to get the U.S. government to define regulations to begin mining these asteroids. Getting Congress to move on something in today’s non-governing Congress may take some time but unfortunately we are living in a new and different litigious society which makes “defined regulations” necessary.
Once these companies get the go-ahead we (private companies) can start sending up “Mars-rover-type” landers to find all kinds of goodies. Many Chondrites are loaded with titanium, palladium and osmium and other rare precious metals. Unlike our minerals on earth, space resources are infinite. I mean INFINITE.
Most asteroids are 20% water, so with solar equipment we can break the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen (rocket fuel). We will have our first orbiting filling station to send our crafts deeper into space exploration, and of course provide drinking water too. Right now the cost of launching water beyond Earth orbit costs $20,000 per kilogram.
The only “scary” part of this potential gold rush is good old American/Russian/Chinese greed. There will be a stampede of oligarchs launching their mining ships to the Carbonaceous Chondrites that could make “The Great Race” look like a monoply game.
Seriously this adventure will start within a decade and two decades from now our mining operations will be commonplace. With all the negative news we receive every day, there are positive signs that technology to solve problems will continue to improve our lives. We have been heading in that direction for the past 100 years.(doubled our life-span, per-capita income has tripled, food, energy and transportation has lowered exponentially) Techonolgy is so cool. I just read a few interesting facts: A Maasai tribesman in Kenya has better mobile communications than President Reagan had 25 years ago. Your smart phone has more access to information than President Clinton had 15 years ago. Today my “google” is just as good as Larry Page’s.
Bring on the Carbonaceous Chondrites (man my tongue loves that) and we’ll kick ass.