The team from the University of Adelaide is planning to use the perfect metal and mineral extraction processes so as to mine the wealth present within asteroids closer is almost to reality. This fiction cannot become a reality until asteroid mining is made economically and technically feasible. The asteroids like Bennu are closer compared to that of Adelaide and Alice Springs, which is approximately 1000 Kilometers far from Earth’s near orbit. According to Professor Volker Hessel from the University of Adelaide, the innovation in the space exploration is an indication that the bodies which contain cobalt, nickel, and platinum plus organic matter and water are all within our reach.
The researchers are looking forward to developing an exaggerated continuous-flow metal solvent extraction process that will be rapid and more sensitive than current processes and can be fine-tuned as per the specific raw materials found in asteroids. The continuous-flow chemistry is a verified technology using which the metal can be extracted by separating and mixing solvents. The extraction of the metals is complete after the chemicals pass subsequently through the process. The metals on the asteroids co-exist in diverse concentrations and combinations compared to terrestrial rock. The researchers have to study the extraction of different metals with precision. The new disruptive technology is efficient than traditional technology.
The continuous-flow technology is measurable and can work in zero gravity or vacuum; thus, giving space mineral extraction a possibility. Space Tango is working on expanded flow chemistry possibilities in orbit. On 4 May, they had launched a mission that had the first processing lab assessing liquid separation onboard. Many companies are eyeing the mining potential looking at the trillions worth raw materials. There 17 missions in line for space exploration. The NASA OSIRIS-Rex mission that had reached Bennu asteroid will be returning with samples by 2023. The current issue is the funding for the launch and continuous-flow chemistry technology development. The researchers are planning to realign the asteroid for easy accessibility or using water from Mars, Moon, or lower Earth orbit for processing nearby asteroids.
Scot Gallegos pursued a Master’s Degree in Astrology from a US-based university. He manages to handle science-related topics, which specifically includes research activities in the field of Space and Science. His coverage over the recent space exploration is phenomenal. Scot is quite experienced in playing with words, while due to his good understanding regarding space and technology-related concepts, Daily Industry Updates news portal has offered him the post of Content Editor. During his spare time, he updates his knowledge regarding Space and the Universe by reading space journals and books. He has set up a separate books section in his living room.