A study conducted by a market research firm claimed that the asteroid mining industry would help humans colonize other planets. Also, extracting precious resources from asteroids could protect Earth from potential impact events.
Currently, there are over 9,000 asteroids that are known to fly near Earth. Due to the precious metals that can be extracted from asteroids, many companies and space agencies are looking into the benefits of mining space rocks.
Colonizing Planets Using Asteroid Mining Technology
Aside from the economic boost that Earth would experience from asteroid mining, a study noted that it would also extend the presence of humans in space. According to a study released by market research firm Report Linker, the technology that would be developed for asteroid mining would greatly improve agencies' and companies' spaceflight capabilities.
Once this has been achieved, colonizing other planets could become a possibility. As indicated in the study, the lessons learned from mining asteroids can be applied to extracting liquid water from alien planets. With these vital resources, colonies and outposts will be able to operate properly.
"Asteroid mining or space mining could help start the colonization of planets where finding water would be imperative," the study stated. "Also, the water can be broken down into hydrogen (used as fuel) and oxygen (air to breathe) and water is used to help grow food, as well as a protective shield from the harsh rays from the space such as UV, infrared and others."
Protecting Earth From Possible Asteroid Impacts
In addition to expanding space exploration, the study noted that asteroid mining could boost the planet's security against potentially hazardous asteroids. According to reports by NASA, Earth gets visited and hit by dozens of asteroids on a daily basis. Fortunately, most of the asteroids that collide with Earth are too small to penetrate the atmosphere or cause impact events.
However, the agency confirmed that there are both known and unknown asteroids lurking in the outer regions of the Solar System that are massive enough to trigger mass extinctions. If these asteroids end up on a collision course with the planet, they could end up killing all life on Earth.
According to the market research study, having the resources to mine asteroids by digging through its thick surface can serve as Earth's primary defence mechanism against hazardous space rocks. "Asteroid mining can help in tackling the incoming asteroids that have the potential to hit Earth," the study explained.