You ever spend a little too much time on the
internet and decide you really want to see what living on another planet might be like? Well I’ve got some bad news… if you thought
the San Francisco housing market was out of control you’re not going to believe what
a townhouse goes for on Mars. The components of your average one story house
weigh somewhere around 100 tons. Considering it costs minimum of $10,000 per
pound to shoot something to space, a Mars move would cost roughly 2 billion dollars. But maybe the answer to cheap space construction
is already out there? The most practical way to build stuff in space
is to do it… with other stuff in space. And until they open the first hardware store
outside of earth’s gravity well, our best bet is asteroids. [OPEN] What IS an asteroid? Billions of years ago, Earth and the other
planets began to condense. Dust became rocks, and rocks became building
blocks of planets. Most of these were knocked into deep space,
or aggregated to become our solar system’s planets and moons, but a few hundred million
never got big enough. Asteroids are essentially little chunks of
protoplanet that never made it. Millions of these, about 4% the mass of the
moon altogether, are trapped in a belt past Mars, where Jupiter’s gravity keeps them
from condensing. But thousands of asteroids cross Earth’s
orbit. So why not catch one and mine it? If that sounds like the plot of your 32nd
favorite Bruce Willis movie, you’ve got a point. But mining asteroids could actually be in
our future. Why would we want to harvest tiny protoplanets? Because they’re full of interesting stuff. When large planets like Earth form and cool,
all their heavy elements like metals move towards the core. It‘s the destiny of their density. But asteroids are so small and light, they
never quite formed layers, and those rare, heavy elements are more accessible. Harvesting the riches of asteroids might be
essential for establishing future space settlements, powering interplanetary travel, and building
things that are definitely not moons. Because why spend money to bring stuff from
Earth if your building materials are already up there?? Different types of asteroids hold different
useful ingredients for Off-Earth survival. Carbon-based asteroids contain complex organic
molecules that may hold clues to life’s origins, and water, which we’ll need anywhere
we want to keep that life going. Stony asteroids hold elements like silicon
and magnesium, while metal asteroids, in addition to shiny, expensive space bling like gold
and platinum, also have iron and nickel: which are great for building stuff and who knows,
might even make good space coins. Of course, mining an asteroid is a lot harder
than it sounds. Getting there is the biggest challenge, because
blasting out of Earth’s gravity pit requires so much energy and fuel. But once you’re up there, asteroids’ low
escape velocities make it easy to hop between ‘em, or even send stuff back to Earth…
or Mars. We could even mine our rocket fuel from asteroids
too. Here on Earth, we use a lot of electronics,
and many of their components are made from “rare Earth elements”, which like the
name says, are difficult to find on our planet (either because we’ve mined all we can reach
cheaply, or they’re trapped deeper in the Earth where we can’t get them easily). As we race to always have the newest gadget,
our supply of these metals may run out in 15-20 years, but on asteroids those elements
are abundant and easy to get to, so space iPhones for everyone! Or Galaxies. Get it?! The only likely way to make space mining profitable
is to refine and build things *in* space. There’s at least 10 good prospecting targets
near Earth, but how do you land on a big lumpy space rock? Asteroids look solid, but their low mass and
weak gravity mean they’re actually more like floating rubble heaps. One bad hop could eject an object right off
the surface. And this is where the giant space nets come
in. In microgravity, it would actually be possible
to wrap and snare an asteroid to land on it or even drag it around. Surveying asteroids for mining has one more
bonus: We’ll know where all the big ones are, and hopefully avoid any extinction-level
surprises. It should come as no surprise that without
laws humans tend to act stupid. With so much at stake we have to consider
what to do if space pirates become a real thing, or if asteroid wrangling technology
falls into the wrong hands. There’s only one space law on the books. The Outer Space Treaty was signed in 1967. It’s meant to prevent any nation from declaring
land in space as their own, though I seem to remember one country sticking a flag on
the moon. Still, we’ll definitely need a space sheriff
to keep things shiny. This idea isn’t too different from how the
United States promoted westward expansion: A government supports the drawing of maps
and early exploration, and good ol’ capitalism builds transportation and establishes an economy
around new resources. But… depending on your perspective, Westward
Expansion wasn’t all that great. It makes you wonder if we humans even have
the right to permanently damage land that isn’t part of our own planet? So sure, the idea is a little “out there”,
but assuming it’s legal, and we don’t bounce off into the vacuum of space, and we
figure out how to make fuel, water, and factories up there, there’s plenty of stuff in asteroids
to build the space house of our dreams Stay curious.

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49 thoughts on “Asteroid Mining Will Revolutionize Our Future Economy”

  1. Could mining space rocks be the secret ingredient to humans living off of Earth? You bet your asteroid!

    Let us know what you thought of this week's video, and you can always leave your ideas for future videos here in the comments, or on Twitter at @okaytobesmart 🤓

  2. If no other intelligent life has claimed it then I don't see any reason why we can't claim any space stuff in our solar system or Galaxy or Universe for that matter

    the only time that we shouldn't go hacking up space stuffs if there's life on it
    (and I'm talking about life that you can see with the naked eye)

  3. I like the idea of expanding to outer space and using the asteroids as a resource, that is a cheaper and more efficient way to do so. However, catching an asteroid with a space net and bringing it down to Earth could cause potential problems. Certain people might believe we could use them in war. Other countries/individuals might get greedy and fight over the asteroids that could then cause the possibility of another world war. We could more likely get destroyed easily by an asteroid out in space than on Earth. The thought of asteroid mining sounds cool but the reality of it has a lot of situations and potential consequences that we do not have the answers or the resources yet to handle if they were to occur.

  4. That YouTube comment section the video opened with is pretty much all of the last two years in five seconds of animation..

  5. You posit that these ideas "damage" other planets and astroids… but damage is a subjective concept, and if there is no life there, it's hard for me to see how you can define it as damage

  6. "billions of years" yeah mate theirs no hard evidence of that so shove it up ur ass,its called the THEORY of evolution"THEROY" science points to the earths age being roughly 6000 years old but not millions if weve been here for millions of years i think we would have more cool stuff like actual sifi spaceships,this isnt ment to be mean or anything im just stating the facts

  7. Right before and after 4:53– wow way to downplay government's role, hype capitalism (workers were treated like sh*t!), and then almost completely ignore the genocide of Native Americans and the destruction of the environment- which should not be shown together as somehow equal, human genocide should not be considered equal to killing animals. Also, the video then ignores the Wild West chaos that reigned- tons of violence, lawlessness, and corruption.

  8. Space pirates?…Execute them…I dont recall anything about space in the amendments so no jury pirate

  9. standard mining equipment such as rock crushers, ball mills, and ore processing equipment will have to be redesigned in order to work in low gravity. mining equipment that is currently being used on earth will not work well in micro gravity, nor the low gravity of the lunar environment.

  10. Meanwhile Better focus much on efforts to reuse & recycle materials down here !! It would help a lot as It's Okay To Be Smart !!

  11. I think this value is many times bigger. Just think about BILLIONS of years asteroid-bombarding of the Lunar surface ! Plus billion tons of Helium-3 (cost $3bn/ton) deposited by the Solar Wind, PLUS the own deposits of the Moon itself. We have minerals for thousands of years ahead to explore, moreover, they are on the surface thus easy for cheap mining .

    For me however the most valuable mineral on the Moon is the BASALT. Moon is 75% made of Basalt. It could be a perfect raw material for production of Basalt-Fiber Composites (BFC) – the best material for building giant Spaceships and Space/Planetary Constructions.

    We can't launch rockets, delivering large Steel or Concrete Modules up there into the Space. It could cost enormous funds. And both materials are not good for Space applications – they are not space-cold resistant.

    BFC withstands the space cold and the strong Solar UV-radiation perfectly.

    It is times stronger and lighter than the Steel. Also, it is stainless, fireproof, waterproof, abrasion-proof, chemically-resistant and a perfect thermal insulator.

    And could be mined, processed and delivered by water-fueled Implosion Spaceships ( ) wherever is needed in all the Solar System and farther.

    There are deep huge natural volcanic Caves and Tunnels on the Moon, just discovered by NASA, which could be a perfect shelter against the lethal cosmic radiation and cold, could be hermetized, pumped with warm air, 24h-LED-lighted, and used for building high-class Residential / Tourist, Mining and Factory Facilities.

    Lunar Tourism will be a multi-trillion business too, alongside with the Mining one.

    All the power, heat, oxygen and fuel needs of such a Colony will be supplied by SOH Gas Power Plants, working on 100%-reusable water.

    Implosion Ships could be used as Underground, Surface or Orbital Power/Heat/Oxygen Plants , plus Magnetosphere Generators for creating Artificial Magnetic Field as a Shield against the Cosmic Radiation and the Solar Wind.
    BFC and else end products and materials will be loaded on large Implosion Spaceships, which will be launched with 2.4 km/sec escape velocity from deep Silos, equipped with Electromagnet Cannons.

    BFC could be also delivered as various assembly-modules and panels to the Earth as well, to Stratospheric Airship Platforms, hovering 50km high, where will be then shipped down to the Earth's ground through a times cheaper way – by Airships or by a Strato-Elevator.

    We'll need enormous quantities of this BFC material, pretty soon.

    Grainis ltd, Hydrogen Bulgaria

    [email protected]

  12. My concerns:

    1. Weaponizing asteroids as WMDs so as to hold entire countries, if not, continents hostage.

    2. The laws on earth not being applicable in space (ex. Guantanamo Bay)

    3. Bacteria frozen in the water of asteroids being sent to Earth thawing and creating plagues we could never imagine.

    4. Death cults of the upper classes fueling concern #1.

  13. Question is not " if we have the right?" but " If we have a nessesity?" And Yes we have. All iving organisms have only one purpose – survive, And for any organism being well spred is one of the esiest ways to encerase survival chances. If we want to survive longer we had to by well spred. Space on earth is limmited butspace univerce is almost limitless.

  14. meanwhile earth burning, environmental disasters loom; air, water quality stressed. If we cant make work here how do you see making it work in some far away hostile unnatural environ.

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