Is this news report accurate?

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  • #2
russ_watters
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Sounds reasonable to me.
 
  • #3
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Really? There's really that much in proven resources just sitting there on one asteroid? Whoa........
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Well, it's a really big rock!
 
  • #5
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Well yeah but the Earth is a bigger rock. :P


I'm kind of surprised no one has come up with a solid plan to go there, $20 trillion should be more than enough return to justify investing in space, hence my initial disbelief at the accuracy of that figure.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Well yeah but the Earth is a bigger rock. :P
Yes, and of course the Earth has much more!

[edit] Misread the quantity in the article.....

Here's a link with a chart showing estimated reserves of a bunch of metals. They seem a little low based on what I've seen elsewhere, but it at least is a good order of magnitude and all in one place: http://www.24hgold.com/english/news...ewitt&article=1427726620G10020&redirect=False

It looks like there is more of the precious metals there, though less of the less precious such as aluminum.
[edit2] Note also, the Earth's reserves noted above are the relatively easily recoverable reserves, not the toal amount on earth. The calculation for Eros is the total amount.
I'm kind of surprised no one has come up with a solid plan to go there, $20 trillion should be more than enough return to justify investing in space, hence my initial disbelief at the accuracy of that figure.
The problem is getting the stuff back. Even if there were solid platinum rocks floating around in low earth orbit, it wouldn't be cost effective to bring them back to earth.
 
Last edited:
  • #7
Closer to home - there's 10-20 Million tons of gold in the Earth's oceans.
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50
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There are at least three problems:

(1) Where do you put this asteroid?

(2) Supply and demand - these metals wouldn't be so precious if there were an asteroid's worth of them on Earth.

(3) Space travel is expensive. It cost $170B in 2005 dollars for 380 kg of moon rocks. It will have to become many orders of magnitude cheaper before mining in space is cost-effective.
 

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