How Asteroid Mining Will Save Earth

  • Published on Jun 27, 2018
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    The days of oil may be numbered, but there’s another natural resource that’s never been touched, Asteroids.
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    Previous Episode:
    The Black Hole Information Paradox
    The richest person in modern history, was John Davison Rockefeller, His net worth was three times greater than that of our richest tech billionaires, inflation adjusted. And the source of that fortune? Timely exploitation of a vast, then-untapped natural resource: oil. Well, the days of oil may be numbered, but there’s another natural resource that’s never been touched, is effectively inexhaustible, and has a dollar value large enough to disrupt entire economies. That resource? Asteroids, and the precious materials they contain. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson predicts that the world’s first trillionaire will be an asteroid miner. The Rockefellers of the 21st century may be less like the internet and tech moguls of the 20th century and more like the old-school oil barons of the 19th century.
    Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
    Written by Drew Rosen and Matt O'Dowd
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Comments • 1 856

  • jz
    jz 3 days ago

    Let's hope that the first asteroid mining "disaster" isn't a rogue asteroid that somehow got away from the retrieval crew and is now on its way to crashing into Earth. Nah, that could never happen, could it?

  • Queen Wavy
    Queen Wavy 5 days ago

    Saving the earth? Are they kidding or what. The number one pollution of all time is going into to space. NASA a government based organization. Stop killing us slowly.

  • Michael Exman
    Michael Exman 5 days ago

    i wonder if you could use chemical cracking agents on asteroids???

  • Luc Fauvarque
    Luc Fauvarque 8 days ago

    Personally, I am considering the idea that we've got it all wrong with asteroid mining. The rocket equation suggests that it will always be cheaper to just dig deeper (or underwater) rather than mining asteroid belts. However, space colonies will find that cheaper than going down on Earth or Mars to mine.
    To summarize, underground and underwater mines, plus mining operations on the Moon, are the way forward for Earth itself.
    While space colonies would naturally resort to asteroid mining, again due to the inevitable rocket equation.

  • kuryamtl
    kuryamtl 11 days ago

    I loved the use of the Navoo from the Expanse show at 6:15

  • Nug U
    Nug U 20 days ago

    That sounds risky to put an astroid in orbid around the moon, if you messed up it could easily struck the earth

  • Ernie Dunbar
    Ernie Dunbar 21 day ago

    "Much of the precious metal deposits in the Earth's crust came from asteroid impacts".
    That's an interesting claim. How do we know that? It might make for an interesting video!

  • Michael Murphy
    Michael Murphy 23 days ago

    robot asteroid mining

  • Derrick McClure
    Derrick McClure Month ago

    First the Asteroids, then the moon, then mars

  • Zombiekidd1
    Zombiekidd1 Month ago

    My boy out here wearing a Minecraft T-Shirt

  • Michael Elbert
    Michael Elbert Month ago

    Wrong the real money is in mining the miners.

  • 13ynny 94
    13ynny 94 Month ago

    🌎 EARTH WILL B SAVED whn th INVADERZ ceaze 2 EXIZT on THIZ PLAN3T...n how did theze ORKZ get RICH??? Thru RAPE ROBBERY THEFT n MURDER...

  • Chewy ToeNails
    Chewy ToeNails Month ago

    It's debatable that Rockefeller was the richest ever... Carnegie was. (but why that has ANYTHING to do with science and mining asteroids...) Something like this should not be motivated by money!

  • Richard Charbonneau

    They would have to be careful not to tank the value of these materials is an understatement. 1 metallic asteroid could crash the worlds precious metals markets, as a sudden flood of these would make them, well not precious anymore.

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    SO this is nothing like they are making it seem like...

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    And that snot even taking into account, the cost of making mining devices, adn equipment...and the cost of transporting that to the asteroid, and if its half a decade to travel to, then it will be around a decade to transport back to with current plans, profits dnt seem like they are feasible at all...

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    There would have to be either 900,000 ships to transport that material, or a single ship used 900,000 separate occasions...or a secret death star like ship that China has been hiding, that is has the payload area of 900,000 of those ships...but its safe to say that isnt the case...( and china would get the trillions of dollars if that was the case)...

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    That seems like a good situation, but its not with current plans...the most powerful ship planned has capacity to carry around 100 a 100 tons out of 90 million tons...thats not even close to a trillion dollars thats able to be held in the most power ship ever planned...

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    A basic example is, is estimated to be trillions of dollars of platinum in this asteroid...but for those trillions of dollars there is 90 million tons of platinum...

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    Then the payload areas for planned ships...they do not seem like they have enough area to bring back enough material to have profits...even in the case of there being "estimated to be trillions of dollars of platnium" in some aeteroids...thats in the core of the asteroid, and the asteroid is much larger than the ships...

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    First, faster travel will have to be made, or getting to the " mining site" and back to earth will take too long...Mine the moons of Jupiter and saturn, it will take over a yr to get there, over a yr to get back...

  • Rodney Carpluk
    Rodney Carpluk 2 months ago

    There is misconceptions of this topic...that make it seem like its something its not...

  • Grok Effer
    Grok Effer 2 months ago

    Although the rare earth elements and precious metals would be the main prize from mining asteroids, simple silicates in the regolith could be turned into something similar to glass-crystal-quartz that would be capable of holding atmosphere, with light passing through. We could be farming in space, and generating oxygen.

  • Ace
    Ace 2 months ago

    What about the moon? It's covered in craters made by large asteroid impacts, so it could be absolutely covered in valuable elements. Unlike asteroids, it moves relatively slowly in a predictable path at a relatively close distance, AND we've already sent humans there and brought back literal tons of rocks from the surface, PLUS NASA is planing to set up a small science station there in 2024. I say the lunar surface would be the PERFECT place to start a space age "boom town" as it were.

  • Душан Радин
    Душан Радин 2 months ago

    Planetary Resourcers sunked.

  • Abhinav 12
    Abhinav 12 2 months ago

    in a small town of India,they found this was really hard to's just a week ago...
    Govt took it over from the locals who were farmers.
    It made a loud sound when it fall...does anyone know about it!!....
    Are their any more of them?

  • Sam Tay
    Sam Tay 2 months ago

    We don't necessarily have to go to them. They could actually (and have been) come to us.

  • Justmyopinionlol
    Justmyopinionlol 2 months ago +1

    why do I keep hearing "ReZorce"?

  • Deepankar Rawat
    Deepankar Rawat 3 months ago

    Can yu made a video on thickness of asteroids belts and how would awe escape them if we want to travel beyond .

  • Space Ventures Investors

    We have updated our Space Resource Due Diligence - Asteroid Mining right now requires more observational capabilities, and tagging of zones on asteroids for exploitation; ice/water. The gray legal zone has yet to be sorted.

  • Jari Haukilahti
    Jari Haukilahti 4 months ago

    I was thinking losely about how much G does a rubble pile or gravel need to fuse to rocklike like sandstone -this shuld set a size of the astroid itself if its solid or pile of sand.

  • EddieVBlueIsland
    EddieVBlueIsland 4 months ago

    The methane on Jupiter or Saturn or their moons is so great that it could easily consume all oxygen on earth.

  • rsoulinternet
    rsoulinternet 4 months ago

    How about the Jupiter Mining Corporation?

  • Power Cat
    Power Cat 4 months ago

    The United States and our allies must be first mining the asteroids. We have to keep the Chinese government out because they may claim that space had always been their territory like the South China Sea. The Western world should use a Union work force.

  • Thomas Slone
    Thomas Slone 4 months ago +1

    " hey bro, i designed this game where all you do is mine stuff to craft stuff that you can mine more stuff with" , " genious, what are you gonna call it bro?" , "hmmmm... mine... craft "

  • Thomas Busse
    Thomas Busse 5 months ago

    Matthew Dowd is pretty and has an exotic accent.

  • Thomas Busse
    Thomas Busse 5 months ago

  • Adam Thompson
    Adam Thompson 5 months ago +1

    How do they get the minerals they mine back down to the surface of the earth?

  • Nameless Ghost
    Nameless Ghost 5 months ago +2

    Instead of mining asteroids, we should focus on getting our dick sucked.

  • 2020Bookworm
    2020Bookworm 5 months ago +1

    How fo you donate money to get wealthy through asteroid mining

  • Seth Apex
    Seth Apex 5 months ago

    we need a method for zero gravity/atmosphere steel manufacture.

  • Sean Sullivan
    Sean Sullivan 5 months ago

    "Asteroid miners are going to have to be careful not to crash the value of these valuable minerals with oversupply." Fuuuuuuuck capitalism. This is exactly the reason why DeBeers is a valuable corporation despite diamonds not being all that rare. They retain a de facto monopoly on the supply of a natural resource that should be readily available to everyone for a much lower price.

  • Just another guy
    Just another guy 5 months ago

    Who will do it first, Bezos, Musk, someone yet unkown? I can say whoever does will be so wealthy they could form their own nation.

  • Winston Knowitall
    Winston Knowitall 5 months ago

    What? James Cameron creates a space mining company and *does not* name it Weiland-Yutani??? How come?

  • Shaney Guide
    Shaney Guide 5 months ago

    Shoot the f****** asteroids to Mars so we can terraform it quicker how about that for an I did and this was my idea

  • uncle freddie
    uncle freddie 5 months ago

    Hank the angry dwarf!

  • Timothy Garrison
    Timothy Garrison 5 months ago

    What would happen to earth or say a planet if we just started getting asteroids and making the planet just massive. Say we have time and all the resources we need to make it double its size. What would happen to earth, or just a planet. Just wondering if we would just slowly go out in orbit, if at all? Could we possibly wreck the solar system?

    • Staremperor
      Staremperor 5 months ago

      @Timothy Garrison You're wellcome. If you are interested in futurism I'd recommand Sfia - science and futurism with isaac arthur

    • Timothy Garrison
      Timothy Garrison 5 months ago

      @Staremperor thank you

    • Staremperor
      Staremperor 5 months ago +1

      @Timothy Garrison
      Well, it would either turn the Earth uninhabitable
      Or it would be matrjoska planet which would be awesome

    • Timothy Garrison
      Timothy Garrison 5 months ago

      @Staremperor let's pretend it did, or there were enough to do that to a planet? What if we did that to Jupiter then proceded to make earth massive....what then?

    • Staremperor
      Staremperor 5 months ago

      Mass of entire Asteroid belt is an insignificant fraction of Earth's mass. So - no wrecking Solar system.
      Disassembling Jupiter would be a different story though ;-)

  • Kie 7077
    Kie 7077 5 months ago

    You forgot should it happen: what happens when we start mining toxic minerals from the solar system and bringing them all here to Earth. This solves a problem we don't have. Pollution and over-population are the problems we need to solve and mining asteroids doesn't do that.

  • nightlightabcd
    nightlightabcd 5 months ago

    Despite current NASA's determination, mankind can not live for longer periods of time in a no gravity environment, so mining operations will have to have constant resupplying and crew rotation, costing more than the material is worth!

    • Staremperor
      Staremperor 5 months ago

      What about cylindrical habitats with rotational gravity?

  • nightlightabcd
    nightlightabcd 5 months ago

    The cost of mining the moon, or Mars or asteroids will cost more then it can be obtained on earth! I suppose that if the US pays all the expenses and they are not paying taxes, I suppose it would be rather profitable if they have a buyer. Materials are not more accessible on asteroids, they are far less accessible and the cost of mining, processing and shipping to earth will cost far, far more then it is worth!

  • PRG
    PRG 5 months ago

    I see moving the orbit of a asteroid just to mine it becoming a cataclysmic event, slightest mistake could become irreversible.

  • mdonoghue1985
    mdonoghue1985 5 months ago

    I wonder could you rotate the the asteroid while ejecting what you mine into space at a certain velocity to create a disc of dust surrounding the asteroid. The heavier materials will be in a closer orbit to the asteroid allowing possible way to sort out the materials in a asteroid.

  • Zachary Hutchison
    Zachary Hutchison 5 months ago

    "Asteroid minersare gonna have to be careful not to crash the value of these materials"
    That awkward moment when capitalism actually SLOWS industrial growth.
    I think it's more likely they'll just race to mine as much as they can of whatever is most cost effective. Platinum just crashed? Oh well, mine gold. Gold just crashed? Oh well, moving on. We'll see the price of all metals plummet, the challenge will be using all of that stuff.

  • Valendr0s
    Valendr0s 5 months ago

    One comment about something you said that was related to economics rather than physics.
    You don't have to 'try' to fix the price market for these materials. It will happen on its own. As the price falls, uses for those materials will increase. If they don't then you won't go into space to get them anymore. Economics will take care of it. The miner trying to get top dollar and the industry trying to use those materials trying to get bottom dollar is all you need to keep the economics going.

  • Jupp Soetebier
    Jupp Soetebier 5 months ago

    It won't 'save' Earth, it will save human Capitalism creating trillionaires are vast billions of us working slaves. Grand Duchy of Fucking Luxembourg? Goddam Illuminati I'd say.
    Nice Expanse nod. And speaking of Expanse... interesting that this is supported by Amazon's Audible because Bezos just might be one of those first Space Trillionaires. He certainly has slave workers already.

  • perpetualengine
    perpetualengine 6 months ago

    Anyone else hear that the gold rush will begin after the "enterprise" is demonstrated to be profitable?

  • Red Shift
    Red Shift 6 months ago

    Nudging an asteroid closer to the earth or the moon. What about the effects to the tides on earth?

  • Atlas WalkedAway
    Atlas WalkedAway 6 months ago

    No, it would be just fine and dandy for someone to tank the value of precious metals. In fact, what could possibly accelerate the progress of technology more than making technical materials trivially cheap? Yeah, let me shed a tear for the gold barons and China's loss of (garbage)steel exports.
    Just kidding...
    That's sarcasm...
    Screw old money _and_ the CCP.

  • miiiikku
    miiiikku 6 months ago

    Why bring anything back to earth? Gold isn't used for anything and materials in space could be used in future projects in space.

  • Duke Temz
    Duke Temz 6 months ago

    And then Belters would terrorize the world ;) #TheExpanse