CC BY-NC 3.0 Polska

Potential importance of metallic resources of ordinary chondrite parent bodies

Wroclaw Univeristy of Science and Technology
Mining Science 2018;25:71–83
Demand for metallic resources constantly increases along with technological development. One of the factors that currently raises requests for resources is extensive space exploration. Especially, the exploration that involves space colonization creates the needs for resources not only on the Earth but also on other bodies in the Solar System. For instance, resources will be required for building bases and settlements or spare parts to machines, devices and space shuttles. The high transportation costs make launching them from our planet ineffective. New and attractive places for prospecting the resources in our Solar System are bodies located in the asteroid belt, namely parent bodies of ordinary chondrites. The goal of this paper is a review of scientific and economic aspects of extraterrestrial resources associated with such bodies. Studies of meteorites combined with scientific achievements of current space mission significantly improved our understanding of the origin, structure as well as chemical and mineral composition of these bodies and processes that affected them. This knowledge is used in XXI century to set up companies aiming at asteroid mining, or production of fuel and spare pieces in space. Additionally, owing to the fact that some asteroids are on collisional course with our planet, possibilities arise for resource utilization by deflection of hazardous asteroids and setting them on circumterrestrial or circummoon orbits.
Katarzyna Łuszczek   
Wroclaw Univeristy of Science and Technology, Na Grobli 15, 50-421 Wroclaw, Poland
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