Deep space missions face several challenges, including human safety and resource limitations, but asteroid mining could potentially solve the latter issue.
Some of the most important resources for space travel, including water and space fuel, are readily abundant on the asteroids floating around aimlessly in the solar system. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of discerning how we can extract these resources.
C-type asteroids are perhaps the most valuable of all because they contain water, which can be broken down into vital elements such as hydrogen for fuel and oxygen for breathable air.
Some asteroids even contain valuable resources like platinum, which private space companies are already planning to take full advantage of. Nevertheless, platinum isn’t as relevant to long-term space missions as water and oxygen would be.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will soon become one of the first spacecraft to visit an asteroid and collect samples; this should enable us to learn more about asteroid composition and may provide answers concerning how we could move forward with such mining techniques.
The future looks bright for space travel.