From the beginning of the first industry, mankind has entered the road of scientific and technological development, especially the rapid development of science and technology in the past century. Mankind has stepped out of the earth and begun to explore the universe. The development of science and technology is inseparable from a variety of resources, and the earth’s resources are limited. In recent decades, human demand for resources is increasing, and the earth’s resources may not be consumed in a long time. What should human do at that time?
If there are not enough resources, the development of human civilization will be hindered. So where to find the infinite resources for human survival and development? It’s going to look in space. The universe is vast, with countless planets and celestial bodies. There are all kinds of rich resources on these planets. If we can exploit and utilize the resources of these planets, then human beings will no longer worry about resources.
Of course, human science and technology are still relatively backward, and we have to go step by step. We do not have the ability to mine in space. However, scientists have begun to prepare for the future space mining, and carry out relevant exploration and research. The first mining targets of human beings in the future are those asteroids in low earth orbit.
There are many asteroids in the solar system, and there are many such asteroids in the near earth orbit. If you go further, there are more asteroids in the asteroid belt of Jupiter and Saturn. There is a huge Kuiper belt on the edge of the solar system, and there are countless asteroids. It can be said that there are hundreds of millions of asteroids in the solar system, as long as human beings have them With space mining technology, we will not worry about resources.
The United States, the world’s most developed country, has realized the importance of space mining in the future. Therefore, many American enterprises, such as Goldman Sachs, the world’s top 100 company, Rocket Company of Jeff Bezos, and SpaceX company of Elon Musk, have launched space programs with cross era significance and started to develop tools for space mining of extraterrestrial asteroids. Although the near Earth Asteroids may contain billions of mineral deposits, the current estimated cost of space mining is too high, and it is obvious that space mining is not worth the loss.
As another big scientific and technological country in the world, China will not lag behind in the space race. Chinese scientists have also locked in an asteroid with a diameter of 6 meters, and are planning how to transport it back to the earth. This near Earth Asteroid is about 90 million kilometers away from the earth and weighs hundreds of tons. However, it is impossible to transport such an asteroid back to the earth, and several difficulties need to be solved That’s the question.
The first problem is that we need a super powerful spacecraft to intercept the near Earth Asteroids. We need to know that the asteroids in the universe are not in a static state, but in their own orbit in a high-speed motion state. In order to get the asteroid out of their own orbit and intercept, we need a super powerful spacecraft, which is not our current chemical fuel Yes, we need more powerful new fuels and stronger engines.
With the energy currently available to mankind, the most promising and possible way to meet the requirements is controllable nuclear fusion. Once mankind realizes controllable nuclear fusion, there will be more powerful energy. Through controllable nuclear fusion technology, powerful nuclear fusion engines can be developed, and powerful spacecraft can be built. In this way, asteroids can be intercepted and towed, and guided to the earth .
The second problem is how to successfully and safely transport the asteroid to the earth, and pull the asteroid through the spacecraft. However, the speed of the asteroid will be faster and faster after entering the earth’s atmosphere, and then it will burn. If such a free falling body is allowed to impact on the earth, it will be a disaster to welcome the earth. Therefore, it is absolutely impossible for an asteroid to enter the earth in this way. It must be very stable. When an asteroid enters the earth, it not only cannot accelerate, but also continuously decelerates. When it hits the earth, its kinetic energy reaches the minimum, so it will not bring much vibration and harm to the earth.
If you want to do this, you need a huge heat shield to wrap it to prevent the asteroid from burning when it enters the earth’s atmosphere, otherwise the asteroid will lose resources. With this huge heat shield, it is also necessary to add a buffer device to the asteroid, similar to the way when the re-entry capsule returns to the earth. By adding a huge parachute, the asteroid can continuously slow down after entering the earth and slowly fall to the earth.
Of course, this is a way to transport asteroids back to the earth for resource mining. Another way is to directly mine in space without transporting asteroids back to the earth. Of course, mining in space must be transported back to the earth for further mining. But this will not bring danger to the earth. Otherwise, once an asteroid loses control and hits the earth, the consequences will be terrible.
Another idea of space mining is more open-minded, that is to build a huge sunglass in space, which is equivalent to the convex lens we usually see. If the sun is focused at a point, the temperature will increase geometrically. If such a huge convex lens can be built in space, it is equivalent to a solar mirror. In this way, the asteroid can be transported to the designated location first, and then the huge solar mirror will gather the sunlight together to form a high temperature of more than thousands of degrees, which can easily melt the asteroid.
As long as the temperature is high enough, it is not difficult to melt an asteroid. In this way, an asteroid will be decomposed, and the useless minerals will evaporate into space with the high temperature, leaving behind pure financial liquid materials. Then, through other equipment, these metals will be classified and refined into pieces of metal ingots, and then transported back to earth by spacecraft. This method seems a bit whimsical, but when you think about it carefully, the technical difficulty does not seem to be very high. Maybe it will be realized in the future.
No matter when space mining will be realized, it is bound to be a direction for human beings to obtain resources in the future. Chinese scientists are also studying this small earth star with a diameter of 6 meters, so as to determine its potential value. In the near future, China may transport it back to earth. We are looking forward to that day.
My friends, what’s your opinion on space mining? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.