Thesis Open Access

Asteroid Mining and Prospecting

Esty, Thomas


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  <identifier identifierType="DOI">10.5281/zenodo.31520</identifier>
  <creators>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Esty, Thomas</creatorName>
      <givenName>Thomas</givenName>
      <familyName>Esty</familyName>
      <affiliation>Harvard University</affiliation>
    </creator>
  </creators>
  <titles>
    <title>Asteroid Mining and Prospecting</title>
  </titles>
  <publisher>Zenodo</publisher>
  <publicationYear>2013</publicationYear>
  <subjects>
    <subject>Asteroids</subject>
    <subject>Mining</subject>
    <subject>Astronomy</subject>
  </subjects>
  <contributors>
    <contributor contributorType="Supervisor">
      <contributorName>Elvis, Martin</contributorName>
      <givenName>Martin</givenName>
      <familyName>Elvis</familyName>
      <affiliation>Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics</affiliation>
    </contributor>
  </contributors>
  <dates>
    <date dateType="Issued">2013-05-08</date>
  </dates>
  <resourceType resourceTypeGeneral="Text">Thesis</resourceType>
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    <alternateIdentifier alternateIdentifierType="url">https://zenodo.org/record/31520</alternateIdentifier>
  </alternateIdentifiers>
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  <rightsList>
    <rights rightsURI="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</rights>
    <rights rightsURI="info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess">Open Access</rights>
  </rightsList>
  <descriptions>
    <description descriptionType="Abstract">&lt;p&gt;There has been a recent increase in interest in the idea of mining asteroids, as seen from the founding of multiple companies who seek to make this science fiction idea science fact. We analyzed a number of prior papers on asteroids to make an estimate as to whether mining asteroids is within the realm of possibility. Existing information on asteroid number, composition, and orbit from past research was synthesized with a new analysis using binomial statistics of the number of probes that would be required to find a valuable asteroid. This information, combined with data on the prices of potentially valuable materials found in asteroids and the past cost of NASA missions, allows us to make a guess as to the financial feasibility of locating asteroids to be mined. Ultimately it appears that finding valuable, ore-bearing asteroids will require a fleet of dozens of small, low cost prospecting probes that are on the border of economic feasibility with current space flight potential.&lt;/p&gt;</description>
    <description descriptionType="Other">{"references": ["Lance Benner. Near-earth asteroid delta-v for spacecraft redezvous. April 2013.", "Richard Binzel. Asteroids II. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1989.", "Martin Elvis. How many ore-bearing near-earth asteroids? February 2013.", "Martin Elvis, Jonathan McDowell, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, and Richard P. Binzel. Ultra-low delta-v objects and the human exploration of asteroids. Planetary and Space Science, 59(13):1408 { 1412, 2011. Exploring Phobos.", "US FAA. Semi-annual launch report: Second half of 2009. Technical report, Federal Aviation Administration, 2009.", "Markus Hammonds. Asteroid mining: Booming 21st century gold rush? Discovery News, Feb 4 2013.", "Deep Space Industries. deepspaceindustries.com.", "Matthey Johnson, March 2013. PGM prices from a top commodities trading firm.", "Jeffrey S. Kargel. Metalliferous asteroids as potential sources of precious metals. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 99(E10):21129{21141, 1994.", "G. A. Krasinsky, E. V. Pitjeva, M. V. Vasilyev, and E. I. Yagudina. Hidden Mass in the Asteroid Belt., 158:98{105, July 2002.", "P.J. Loferski. Platinum-group metals. United States Geological Survey Mineral Resources Program, 2010.", "A. Mainzer, T. Grav, J. Bauer, J. Masiero, R. S. McMillan, R. M. Cutri, R. Walker, E. Wright, P. Eisenhardt, D. J. Tholen, T. Spahr, R. Jedicke, L. Denneau, E. DeBaun, D. Elsbury, T. Gautier, S. Gomillion, E. Hand, W. Mo, J. Watkins, A. Wilkins, G. L. Bryngelson, A. Del Pino Molina, S. Desai, M. Gmez Camus, S. L. Hidalgo, I. Konstantopoulos, J. A. Larsen, C. Maleszewski, M. A. Malkan, J.-C. Mauduit, B. L. Mullan, E. W. Olszewski, J. Pforr, A. Saro, J. V. Scotti, and L. H. Wasserman. Neowise observations of near-earth objects: Preliminary results. The Astrophysical Journal, 743(2):156, 2011.", "Mdf-WikipediaContributor, 2006.", "Planetary Resources. planetaryresources.com.", "E. R. D. Scott, V. F. Buchwald, and J. T. Wasson. The chemical classification of iron meteorites{VII. A reinvestigation of irons with Ge concentrations between 25 and 80 ppm. , 37:1957{1976, August 1973."]}</description>
  </descriptions>
</resource>
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