Space is full of resources that, if we could bring back to Earth, would reduce dependence on local resources and represent a substantial financial boost for the companies and countries involved in the mining for minerals in space, such as asteroid mining, which could generate between more then $200 billion in global revenues by 2045.
Space minerals exploitation requires “massive investments.” according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) commissioned by the Luxembourg Space Agency and ESA. “Such a development will happen, the only uncertainty is the timing,” says Mathias Link, director of international affairs at the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA).
Mining For Minerals In Space Could Be Useful For Many Industries Here On Earth
To reduce the cost of missions, space resources such as water or certain minerals can be used as fuel or as part of space infrastructure and reduce the cost of space exploration, accordingly. The report is based on the agenda of institutional and private space missions planned until 2045, such as plans for returning humans to the Moon and Mars exploration and colonization, but also space tourism.
Mining minerals in space can also be useful in the car industry, medicine, or for manufacturing electronic components, but with less financial gain than for use in space, the study points out. The use of space minerals would also reduce dependence on limited terrestrial resources. The document also estimates that 845,000 to 1.8 million full-time jobs could be generated by 2045 through mining for minerals in space.
Luxemburg Space Agency Has Already Signed Partnership With The United States And Many More
In 2016, Luxembourg launched SpaceResources.lu, an ambitious programme aimed at developing economic activities around space and more particularly the mining for minerals in space. Since the summer of 2017, Luxembourg has adopted a law that guarantees full ownership over the resources exploited by private companies.
Luxembourg has also signed a series of space partnerships with the United Arab Emirates, Japan, China, Poland, Portugal, and the Czech Republic.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.