EQ: Is the cost of constructing asteroid mining facilities worth the cost? (Ben-TOPIC 2)

EQ: Is the cost of constructing asteroid mining facilities worth the cost?
Background: Humanity is running out of resources on Earth. As more countries around the world develop industrially and others further their use of manufactured materials, the strain on the limited supply we have on Earth will eventually reach its breaking point. The asteroid belt in our solar system, just on the outskirts of mars, contains asteroids that have with in them, more resources then have been used in the entire history of man; many, many times more. If these resources could be mined, then Earth would have an influx of billions of tons of metals such as gold, titanium, copper, iron, and platinum and we would receive water. The cost, however, of beginning operations is extremely high, and only groups of billionaires have even begun the process.
Claim: Asteroid mining will allow billions of tons of metals and water to be brought to Earth. Everything will become more available and less expensive. The world will prosper and be allowed to grow and develop to new heights without fear of a potential resource crunch. The cost of invest and capital will be far outweighed by the return after the resources are sold. Any human life casualties will be worth it if these resources save and improved the lives of billions.
Support: Planetary Resources is a company whose sole objective is to begin mining operations on asteroids. They are back by a collection of billionaires. Their investments add up to include billions. If this was a waste of money, I don’t think these people would spend that kind of money. These billionaires include, “Google moguls Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. Filmmaker and adventurer James Cameron is one of a number of high-profile Planetary Resources advisers.” These men are not idiots, they are out to make money, and hopefully help the world with it. Earth has a finite number of resources that we can use before it is all gone. If we stop all use and consumption of these resources, the world would cease to exist as we know it. If we allow the world to continue to grow and develop, like it is going to, then we will run out of material to use, unless we find more. We have found it, in space. We either take our time and do things right now, when we have time, or rush and potentially lose everything when we have to find more resources.

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10 Comments

Filed under Controversial Issue #2

10 responses to “EQ: Is the cost of constructing asteroid mining facilities worth the cost? (Ben-TOPIC 2)

  1. Justin Clements

    Your argument is very sound in many aspects, however, the funding for mining on an asteroid would be dwindling, because the government would have to literally milk the funding from their citizens. This would cause much uproar among some people, this could then lead to governments cutting their funding for this program.

    • Benjamin Adkins

      Excellent point, and I agree. I addressed that point in the synthesis essay and i claimed that companies and businesses and investors are the ones who need to fund space.

  2. Kenneth Nevarez

    When I hear the words “astroid mining” I get really exited because that sounds really cool, but once that initial awe wears off I begin to realize that there are too many unanswered questions. How will we get there? How will these resources be transported? What if you get there and no resources are availible, or you awaken a dorment alien race? There are too many factors that must be adressed when considering such a huge issue that involves so much money, I am not against this cool idea, but I am unsure of how this will be made possible.

    • Benjamin Adkins

      Another excellent point. Your very good at seeing the little details. http://stottspace.com/ http://www.planetaryresources.com/ I believe these two websites will be able to answer most of your concerns. However, the dormant alien race one is a hard one. Well, as i have read so far, robots are how we are going, and the robots would stay in space. The cargo containers could be quarantined and decontaminated. Any big living creatures would either be friendly, or we would need some big guns.

  3. Alyssa Garrido

    While I agree with your claim, I feel there is also a downside to asteroid mining. While we do extensive study of materials beyond Earth, we still don’t have a lot of information pertaining to what is safe and what isn’t. If we were to use materials mined from asteroids, who’s to say that what we are bringing into our atmosphere isn’t harmful?

    • Benjamin Adkins

      Your concerns a necessary concern to help prevent people from doing stupid stuff, like bring back an uber virus. quarantine and decontamination protocols, along with extensive studying, would have to be need to prevent such an outcome.

  4. Toris Sherwood

    I agree with your claim, but I have to agree with Justin. There can’t be too much money put into this because the goverment would to take it from the citizens, and to acquire the money to build a rocket that can fly into space and land on an asteroid would cost a lot of money alone. The United States is already has a big debt to pay as it is. For the United States or any other country to go asteroid mining they would have to first find a way to fund for it without having to charge the citizens.

    • Benjamin Adkins

      I tell you what i told Justin, Countries can’t support astroid mining. Corporations, business and investors can.

  5. Christian Encarnacion

    Although it seems reasonable to state that we could solve our resource issues by gathering materials from asteroids, it is rather a “dream” than that of a reality. As Justin stated previously, we would have to acquire the funding from that of our citizens and not many would be fond of this idea. You state that everything will become more available and less expensive with acquiring extra materials, but how can you actually be so sure about it? Getting to the asteroid itself will cost a TON of money, and any casualties or failed missions will cost us even MORE to redo or reattempt. This will only cost us more in the long run, as we are not technologically capable of reaching such distances with manned vehicles (that we know) as well as we are not capable of reaching such distances in short amounts of time. Although a great idea, it is not really feasible.

    • Benjamin Adkins

      All good points,except i think your under estimating the ability of our technology. Also you assume these missions would be maned. Robots are how this mission will be accomplished. Your right about the time needed to make a round trip. However, that will only affect the first run. When we start sending more missions, the timing could very well end up that we get regular return shipments, or we get a lot of shipments at once, or a mixture of both. Once the ball gets rolling, time will not be an issue on when we receive shipments. Also, as i told Justin and Torris, your right that governments can;t support this mission,it would cost them too much. However, businesses, corporations, and investors can. Asteroids include a lot of water in their composition, which can be separated into liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, both excellent sources of fuel. Your point about how sure i can be about the cost going down and the profits going up is the only one i don’t have a definitive answer for. Their are three sides on the financial issue. One side saying “yes, it will raise profits,” another saying, “no, it will be too costly,” and the third saying, ” I don’t care about the cost,this is way too cool to pass up.” my only response is why would investors, businesses, corporations, and some very well known business leaders support such an idea of nothing would turn up in their favor? i figure that if they spend all this money, that have to expect something in return. http://stottspace.com/ http://www.planetaryresources.com/

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