Mining platinum group metals from asteroids has long been a proposed method of making a profit from a space program. Until recently, however, such a proposition was non-economic. New technologies, particularly magsail propulsion and high efficiency solar cells, drastically change the situation. An asteroid mining operation with an initial revenue of ~2.6 billion dollars/year and an initial cost of ~5 billion dollars seems quite reasonable if such technologies are utilized.
Journal of the British Interplanetary Society
- Pub Date:
- Economic spaceflight;
- magnetic solar sail;