An asteroid is a small, rocky object hurtling through the sky. When seen in a telescope, an asteroid appears as a point of light, according to NASA. In the recent months, there have been many occasions where large asteroids have just missed Earth by a few million miles.
Near Earth Objects (NEOs) such as Asteroids and Comets revolve around the Sun in their own orbit. Although potentially dangerous, these NEOs could also be utilized for useful resources. The process is called Asteroid Mining.
Asteroids are generally made up of rocky minerals and Comets are balls of ice. Asteroids could come in handy when building structures in space, such as bases on other planets or even the Moon. Asteroids are usually composed of nickel and iron or silicate materials and nickel-iron. Due to their 85 percent metal structure, they could be an excellent source of minerals. It is even said that the raw materials extracted from asteroids could even exceed the metal reserves present on Earth.
Comets on the other hand, are rich resources for the water and carbon-based molecules. These molecules are necessary to sustain life, according to NASA. Comets could also solve the most important issue in space – the absence of water. The icy structure of comets could prove to be an abundant source of water. NASA says that comets could also provide copious quantities of liquid hydrogen and oxygen, the two primary ingredients in rocket fuel.
As of now, the exploitation of comets and asteroids is not cost-effective. Since there is no Moon base or structure in space, it is extremely difficult to do so. However, the future applications of asteroid mining are immense and could one day, even become the primary source of metals and other raw materials on Earth.
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