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Asteroid Mining is the process of removing ice, minerals and metals from asteroids for commercial purposes.

History[]

Raw materials are at a premium as humanity expands its presence throughout the Sol system. Key elements needed for modern industry and food production, including phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper as well as platinum, cobalt and other valuable elements from asteroids are mined for profit.

The inner planet asteroid groups, such as the Aten Asteroids sunward of Earth’s Orbit, have been accessible since the first days of humanity’s expansion into space, and so they were some of the first to be mined. The mining of titanium, platinum and nickel-iron had made large fortunes. The invention of the Epstein Drive and subsequent push out into the main Asteroid Belt and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn had left the inner planet asteroids behind. Later, as mining technologies improved, ore that had been exhausted generations before was rich enough for Sundivers to use the new techniques to wring out a little more.[1]

Asteroid Types[]

C-type asteroids have a high abundance of water and organic carbon, phosphorus, and other key ingredients for fertilizer which can be used to grow food.

S-type asteroids carry little water but contain numerous metals including: nickel, cobalt and more valuable metals such as gold, platinum and rhodium. A small 10-meter S-type asteroid contains about 650,000 kg of metal with 50 kg in the form of rare metals like platinum and gold.

M-type asteroids are rare but contain up to 10 times more metal than S-types.[2]

Asteroid Locations[]

Asteroids are located in numerous locations throughout the Sol system.

Asteroid Mining Process[]

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1. Secure Mining Net and place charges.

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2. Blow charges to reduce asteroid to rubble and catch it in the mining net.

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3. Cracked asteroid pieces conform to net shape.[3]

Mining Equipment[]

References