No asteroid mining in foreseeable future?


#1

It appears that two major players in asteroid mining field has lost their focus.
Deep Space Industries was aquired by Bradford Space and Planetary Resources was aquired by ConsenSys, none of which have asteroid mining as their goal.

The asteroid mining bubble has burst

It’s shame, because at least Planetary Resources already launched two cubesats. Most recent one (Arkyd-6) on PSLV-C40 mission:


#2

There were many hopeful launch companies that came and went throughout the nineties and early 2000s. It has taken deep pockets and deeper commitments to get to the point where we have SpaceX, Rocket Labs, Blue Origin, etc.

I think the moon will be the first to be mined simply because of its proximity. Note that Osiris Rex’s sample return will take around three years to Earth. That’s just too long. Also consider the Moon as a catcher’s mitt for asteroids, it’s been collecting them for over a billion years. Now available in convenient size, just pick them up off the surface.

NASA’s recent announcement of a COTS version for lunar landers will help facilitate lunar mining in the near future.


#3

I wouldn’t necessarily say its “over”, just that deeper pocket entities have acquired these companies which contain portfolios that meet certain criteria. Proven firms with capabilities are easier to obtain than build from the ground up when the necessary tech is increasingly available off the shelf imho. Its similar to the silicon valley method of software startups which is encouraging for the next set of companies. Its a proven money maker and you can study the format in business school at this point.

The demand is still there and in fact this news is a confirming indicator that the path to space is available for companies with asteroid mining on the menu. The slider rulers and the banksters have established a value on a certain skill set. Huzzah.

I also agree with the sentiment of @JohnnySpacer that the moon is perhaps a more attractive target for proximity reasons at a minimum. Although the variety of materials available from asteroids will eventually trump that of Luna that in no way means we should diminish the wonderful gift physics has given the people of earth within easy reach.

Mine both


#4

DSI’s (now Bradford’s) water-based cubesat propulsion named Comet is already flying on four spacecrafts. So there’s something from their effort at least… #

Updated-Comet