The Next Gold Rush Is Not Cryptos, But 'Outer Space Gold Mines' - Famed Physicist
(Kitco News) - Cryptocurrency is not the future, according to physicist Michio Kaku, who is convinced that the next gold rush is in asteroid mining.
In the book titled 'The Future of Humanity,’ American theoretical physicist projects that asteroid mining will play a key role in humanity’s future, comparing it to19th century cattle supply chain — a process in which meat is processed in one location and then is shipped to urban areas.
“The moon would be like the Chicago of the future,” best-selling author Kaku said. “Processing valuable minerals from the asteroid belt for shipment back to Earth.”
The book refers to asteroids as “flying gold mine[s] in outer space,” but to others, they are more commonly known as bodies up to 610 miles in size that are made up of rock, metals and ice.
Kaku believes that looking for gold in the outer space could be a lucrative business.
“The majority of [asteroids] have not yet been detected by us, and there are potentially billions of them,” Kaku said.
NASA does not rule out this theory either: “Even a little, house-sized asteroid should contain metals possibly worth millions of dollars,” the space organization said.
Asteroids are known to contain valuable materials like iron, nickel, carbon, cobalt and precious metals — platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium.
Asteroids can also contain oxygen and water, which can prove to be very useful when it comes to sustaining astronauts in space.
Even though the whole concept might sound like something from a Sci-Fi movie, some companies are already jumping on the opportunity.
For example, Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining company which boasts of founding investors like Google’s Larry Page and Virgin Group’s Sir Richards Branson, is planning to launch an exploratory spacecraft that will collect data and asteroid samples by 2020.
NASA is already on-board as it launched a $1 billion asteroid study and sample-return mission in 2016. The plan is to explore the Bennu asteroid, which is about 1,614 feet in diameter, with the OSIRIS-REx probe and return to Earth with a sample in 2023.