Emerging Tech

Harvard Says Our Space Rocks Are Worthless

Gunnar Assmy/Shutterstock.com

Looks like we'll just have to be content with our Lego space miners. A new Harvard study says that very few asteroids in our solar system are worth mining.

Several very rich people -- and our government -- are hoping to mine asteroids for precious metals, hydrogen and oxygen. But Dr. Martin Elvis, an astrophysicist, has calculated that only 10 asteroids (or 1 percent) would be suitable and come close enough to Earth for mining. He estimates the value of mined ore from those asteroids could be from $800 million to $8.8 billion. Which is a lot, but building a space mining company from the ground up is pretty expensive. If Elvis is correct, it might not be worth the effort. This is a big blow to the burgeoning space mining industry.

But! Space mining company co-founder Eric Anderson (his Planetary Resources is backed by James Cameron and Larry Page) is not deterred. In fact, he told the BBC, he thinks Elvis's calculations are off

Read more at TheWire.com

(Image via Gunnar Assmy/Shutterstock.com)

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// November 26
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