posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 08:45 AM
reply to post by Duceis
when it comes to asteroids..it should be whoever can get there can claim it
That is not what the law currently says. What the OP has pointed out is correct; there is a great deal of ambiguity as to whether a private
corporation could, for example, crush an entire small asteroid into rubble and pick out the good bits. This might be construed as contrary to the
Outer Space Treaty. Large corporations tend to be risk averse. They do not like the idea that their costly activities might be met with fines,
penalties or embargoes.
Economically, industrial scale asteroid mining does not make sense. Asteroids are composed of exactly the same elements as Earth, in roughly the same
proportions. Unfortunately, they are not distributed as systematically. Except for a handful of remaining proto-planets, like Vesta and Ceres, they
are not large enough for the heavier, more valuable elements to sink and concentrate in the center. Pulverizing the entire asteroid and sifting
through the debris would be expensive, and not yield any more metal than a much less expensive process on Earth.
What does make economic sense is mining asteroid minerals to sell as luxury items, their value coming from the fact that they are extremely scarce and
expensive to obtain. If several kilograms of an asteroid could be obtained and returned to the Earth, it could be used to make jewelry, incorporated
into tile used to make a mosaic, embedded in custom designed furniture, and so forth. Wealthy people would be willing to pay a tidy sum for a wedding
ring set with Pallasite: