Gold Beyond the Stratosphere

Gold Exploration in Space.

There’s Gold in Astroids.

… and Maybe On Mars.

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There is gold beyond the troposphere. There is gold beyond the stratosphere. There is gold beyond the mesosphere.

There is gold in outerspace. Gold is in asteroids and ambitious companies want to mine it and bring it back to earth.

In search for gold, miners have dug deeper and deeper. Mining can now take place at the bottom of the ocean. Some gold prospectors, however, are looking up instead of down. Private companies are looking up to meterors and even Mars as a source of minerals like gold and platinum.

Companies like DSI, Planetary Resources, Blue Origin and Elon Musk founded and NASA funded SpaceX have all joined the outerspace gold rush.

Astroid gold mining

Image: Canstockphoto

Challenges Of Outerspace Mining

There are many obstacles to mining asteroids including financing, technology and legal issues.

Developing and launching spacecraft is expensive, especially if it needs to not just arrive at its outerspace destination but also conduct mining operations when it gets there. Elon Musk seems to have mastered the art of getting government subsidies for his space, solar battery and car projects, so his Space X company may have an advantage in capital raising.

The technology required to mine moving outerspace objects like asteroids is daunting. The host of mathematical and logisitcal challenges to getting to the asteroid, exploring it, extracting the minerals and bringing them back to earth are too numerous to contemplate here.

And then there is the law. Who owns the asteroids? How does one obtain the mineral rights to gold that may be embedded in an asteroid? There is a tentative international legal structure but it has been untested in the courts.

Even if all obstacles could be overcome, space mining may not be economically feasible at current precious metals prices. If, however, asteroid mining becomes a by-product of other space endeavors. like space colonization, it may yield some ounces of gold if not tonnage.

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Further Reading:

Holy Cow! Gold Found in Cow Urine

Gold and Silver Are Sunk

Gold to the Moon!

Gold is in the Toilet

Gold Grows on Trees

Gold Baked in Bread

Gold For Smoking and Munching

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