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The Peril and Profit of Near-Earth Objects; Is Asteroid Mining Possible and Practical?

Near-Earth objects present both an existential threat to human civilization and an extraordinary opportunity to propel our exploration and expansion across the solar system. While the risk of a sudden, civilization-altering collision with an asteroid or comet has markedly diminished in recent decades due to diligent astronomical surveys, a significant level of danger persists. Concurrently, remarkable strides have been made in advancing technologies that pave the way for a transformative vision of space exploration.

This vision entails missions and outposts within the inner solar system fueled by resources extracted from asteroids, starting with the most accessible near-Earth objects. These objects provide a cost-effective approach because they contain exploitable extraterrestrial resources delivered to the inner solar system by gravitational perturbations from the planets, they have been naturally preprocessed into objects the ideal size for industrial operations, and they contain critical materials for cost-effective self-sustaining activities in space.

Speaker: Robert Jedicke, University of Hawaii

Saturday, 09/30/23


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East Bay Astronomical Society

Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd
Classroom 4 formerly knows as Copernicus
Oakland, CA 94619

Website: Click to Visit