Microeconomics Asteroid Mining

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MICROECONOMICS GROUP PROJECT Asteroid Mining—Money-Maker or Starry-Eyed Fantasy?” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt http://hmcurrentevents.com/asteroid-mining%E2%80%94money-maker-or-starry-eyed-fantasy/. March 2013 ARTICLE SUMMARY: “Asteroid Mining—Money-Maker or Starry-Eyed Fantasy?” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt http://hmcurrentevents.com/asteroid-mining%E2%80%94money-maker-or-starry-eyed-fantasy/. March 2013 Ever since a recent asteroid almost collided with the Earth and the ensuing attempt to sell the precious metals that it may have left behind, there has been much excited talk of "asteroid mining," a potential business venture that may allow us to harvest the rare metals and elements…show more content…
Deciding to mine asteroids in space for rare and precious metals is no different. Entrepreneurs and would-be space investors should apply the cost-benefit principle and consider the potential benefits of mining asteroids and the associated costs before engaging in this pioneer market. Currently, billionaire entrepreneurs are exploring the possibility of cashing in on the huge bounty of rare metals and potential sources of energy floating in space. Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Richard Branson have contributed capital to Planetary Resources. The company’s mission is to harness valuable minerals from a practically infinite source to provide stability on Earth, increase humanity’s prosperity, and to help establish and maintain human presence in space(4). Even though a metallic asteroid with a diameter less than a mile wide may contain over $20 trillion of rare metals to extract there are significant costs from transportation, extraction, infrastructure development, opportunity costs, and overhead. Two-ounces of asteroid material brought back to Earth are estimated to cost $1 billion (1). Methods and available technology will also influence benefits and costs. Mining asteroids may be more cost-effective if the metals are consumed on the asteroid itself instead of transporting the material back to Earth (1). Robots will play a key role since asteroid conditions are difficult for humans

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