Profitable Asteroid Mining

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M. Busch (2004), JBIS, 57, 301-305

Refcode: 2004.57.301
Keywords: Economic spaceflight, magnetic solar sail, asteroids

Mining platinum group metals from asteroids has long been a proposed method of making a profit from a space program. Until recently, however, such a proposition was non-economic. New technologies, particularly magsail propulsion and high efficiency solar cells, drastically change the situation. An asteroid mining operation with an initial revenue of ~2.6 billion dollars/year and an initial cost of ~5 billion dollars seems quite reasonable if such technologies are utilized.

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