Who Wants To Be A Trillionaire? | GIANT LEAP Ep. 4
I. Earn. Gold. Copper. Minerals. Are the lifeblood of the world's economy from. The Arctic Circle to the Sahara Desert the, 1.7. Trillion, dollar mining, industry, supplies, raw materials, needed for everything, from, skyscrapers to, smartphones, but. Mining also comes with an increasingly, critical, environmental. Cost one. That may require us to think about off-planet solutions, before. It's too late. Asteroids. Moons and planets in, our own solar system hold. An essentially, unlimited supply. Of untapped, resources. The. First trillionaires. Will. Be those who mine, asteroids. Resources. Like gold platinum, and rare earth metals, make, some of those asteroids, incredibly. High-priced, but. The most valuable elements, may be our most basic one what, you want to mine and space is what you need a lot of and while. Humans have been mining for thousands, of years mining. In space requires, new innovative, technologies, to realize any potential, business and economic, opportunities. Such. Technologies, might just allow humanity, to expand, operations off earth and take, that next giant, leap. These. Tiny, dots represent. The millions of asteroids in our solar system. Over. The past two decades government, and private aerospace companies, have been investigating. Their composition. Location. And even, possible, payoffs to mine them. This. One known, as Venu has an estimated, value of 669. Million, dollars. Ryu, gu eighty two billion dollars, better. Yet an asteroid. Called dabba de which, is valued at more than a hundred trillion, dollars, and the. Reason for these high price tags they're, made up of valuable, metals like platinum gold. And iron, we believe that asteroids. Have platinum. Group metals rare. Earth metals in high, percentages, and you might find on the moon for instance, only. Once in human history has an asteroid sample been brought back to earth on, the, Japan aerospace exploration. Agency's. Hayabusa. Mission in 2010. And even. Then the returned sample, was merely dust particles, and the. Total cost of that mission, approximately. 250, million dollars. One. Problem is that. Compared. To the moon there's. Very little gravity so. Somehow you have to attach yourself to the asteroid. Whereas, on the moon the, gravity will hold your processing. Equipment in place so. The. General answer to the question, can. We bring, materials. Mined in space back to earth and the general answer is no. Bringing. Things from space, to, earth only. Makes, sense if what, is retrieved, is so extraordinarily. Valuable. And, just. Not available on earth and even. Returning, the most valuable asteroids, could, drastically devalue, those materials. Take. Asteroid, 16, psyche, for instance NASA, is constructing, a probe to launch in 2022. To, study the potato shaped objects, which, is roughly 95%, metals. Nickel. Iron platinum. And even, gold, some. Estimates, value the asteroid at 700. Quintillion. Dollars. NASA. Says, it may be the inner core of a developing, planet that, somehow lost its outer layers offering. Incredible insight, into how, planets, are formed if, someone. Did manage to bring large amounts of this asteroid, back to earth supply. Of the resources would skyrocket, meaning. We'd have more of the material than we would have a use for causing. The price to, crash to almost zero. Once. We around the rarity. Of a high-value metal. Or mineral the. Value, of that terrestrially. Could drop significantly, experts. Agree that a more likely scenario is materials. Mined in space will stay in space jump. Starting, a whole new money-making, industry. Any. Spacefaring. Nation, will. Have looked, at what's called in situ, resource utilization which. Is a very common space, term meaning. You. Use the resources where you are so taking that model of. If. You need it in space mining in space what, would you be mining mostly.
You Need fuel. There's. Something else much more valuable for use in space that's, abundant, on earth. Water. Not. Only can water sustain, human and plant life for future manned space missions, the. Components, of water hydrogen. And oxygen, can also be separated and reassembled, to make fuel, the. Zero emission fuel, called, hydrogen, fuel is the same used in spacecraft, propulsion and, fuel, cell vehicles. Hydrogen. Fuel research in this new space race could also spur new technologies. That can help fight climate change by speeding, the elimination, of fossil fuel use on earth and, there's. Already a high demand for it and an. Immediate business opportunity, for, risk tolerant, companies, wishing, to make a fortune. In. A 2018, paper by industry, government and academic, experts they. Estimated, that for an initial four billion dollar investment in a moon water mining, operation, which, is about the cost of a luxury hotel in Las Vegas about. 2.4, billion dollars, in revenue could be generated, annually, the, sort of business case 101 from, mining in space is if, you're going to launch something from Earth it's going to cost you about, 10. Or 20,000, dollars. Per kilo to get into space so, if you need water for something in. Space and. You can produce it for less than ten thousand dollars a kilo then. Do. It in space. Do. United Launch Alliance ula, they, have put a price on water in space, they have said we'll give you this amount of money from the water which means people, who are going out and trying to produce. That, water now have. A, customer. In. 2016. The ula announced, is willing to pay around three thousand, dollars per kilogram for. Talent in an orbit less than 2,000, kilometers in altitude called. Low-earth, orbit, compared. With the estimated, price of $4,000. Per kilogram to deliver the propellant, from Earth most. Experts, believe the moon is a logical, starting point for this it, has more gravity, than an asteroid, making, it easier to land and its poles are thought to hold vast amounts, of water ice that. Potential. Volume of water has, made it the focus of NASA's Artemis, program which aims to land astronauts, on the moon's southern, Pole and also, make the space agency, a critical, first customer, for any water harvested. On the moon China India, Israel. The. US Europe. Everyone. Is now sort of focusing on the way and. All of these government, programs are looking to set up shop for, a water mining, future, a, fueling. Station on the moon could ultimately make current space ventures much, cheaper, and make future space missions possible. Although entirely, theoretical, at this point here's how it could play out water. Is mined on the moon and a fueling station, is set up this, would provide the first customers, most likely government agencies, with water for human consumption, and fuel, for spacecraft water.
Derived, Fuel could also be harvested, on an asteroid, vehicles. Or propellant, transports, then carry the fuel from the surfaces, to a stable storage point between the earth and the moon fueling. Stations, can also be set up in low-earth orbit, making it accessible, to satellites, and other spacecraft as, of, now satellites. That run out of fuel are decommissioned, extra, fuel would allow them to stay in their orbits increasing. Their lifespan. Since. Using a rocket to get fuel out of Earth's atmosphere is expensive, refueling. In low-earth orbit can greatly improve the size type. And cost of missions in space the, commercial, launch industry, like SpaceX, would also benefit, from these fuel depots, the. Use of lunar base propellant, and commodities, may also provide a stepping-stone for interplanetary, exploration. But. While there has been a renewed interest in the moon it, hasn't been easy in just. 2019, missions. To the moon sir by both India, and Israel resulted. In landing failures, and the, technology, to mine and extract these potential, water reserves, on the moon and beyond is still unproven but some, entrepreneurs, are still optimistic. The. Answer is yes the, technology, exists, we, can put something together we, can send something to the moon that. Can mine water. So, we we are sort of like a trailblazers, trying to figure out what's going on in the moon what's, below the surface me, honeybee, robotics they. Designed drills used in NASA's past Mars missions, and have, sampling, and mining systems going, on future planned missions to the moon Saturn's. Moon Titan Mars. Moon Phobos and, Jupiter's, moon Europa, we've. Been focusing, on developing, high-end, fully autonomous, trading systems from. Literally iPhone, size all. The way to the size that cannot, fit inside this vacuum chamber behind me and. That's. Why NASA has long relied on their expertise, unlike. Your everyday drill, from the hardware store their, drills overcome, the numerous limitations, of space which, include extreme temperatures, and low gravity that, means, you, have to be very. Very, imaginative. Very innovative to, solve these problems. You essentially trying to do what we do here in the earth but, with a fraction, of the power with. A fraction, of a mass with. A fraction of the volume and. Drilling. Is unforgiving. If, you get stuck if. Something, goes wrong there. Is no second chance, the. Difficulty, in drilling would delay placement, of the second probe until the next day one. Of their innovative ideas called planet vac uses. Compressed gas to shoot material, into a sample container it's. Ergonomic, design allows, it to be inside the foot of a lander, and. Was chosen to go with NASA funded payloads, to the Moon and Mars moon. Phobos. For. Mining and extracting, water on the moon they created, the planetary, volatiles, extractor. Or P vex and it, not only drills, it, mines. It's. Based off a drill that removes a cylinder, of material, called a coring, drill but it's not just any coring, drill it's a it's a system, with heaters on the inside, so. You drill down the required depth you heat up the material. That's, on the inside of, a coring drill and ice. Turns, into vapor and vapor, moves up the coring drill into a cold finger so, you're capturing, what a vapor like for, example in your freezer when you have condensation give X is a mining system it can actually get into. The soil it, can actually extract water, you, can actually capture this water in, a separate container we have all the pieces together, and. We can go to, the Moon or Mars and mine, it, when. It's tested on the moon which may happen in the next couple of years P vex will be the first end-to-end, mining, system deployed, in space and they, have even, more futuristic, ambitions. To use the P vex drill. Like. This one that not only extracts. And stores water but, uses it to propel itself like, a flying kettle. Wine. Or extend, support but Walt is not enough. It's a James Bond stuff it's very futuristic. It's, a new concept of space exploration the. Main idea is to send hundreds, of low-cost, wine spacecrafts. All over, the solar system to, give a clear atlas, of asteroids, that have water resources. Honeybee. Robotics is, one of the many startups, that NASA is depending, on to, develop new innovative, ideas there. Is a strong. Strong private. Public. Partnership. With NASA right now to. Come up with lenders. But we can send twice a year but, we'll put payloads, to them on payloads, like instruments, lagravis.
And Also humans we're, doing it it's, happening right now very. Very exciting, times. By. Giving out multiple, contracts, NASA reduces, the cost for themselves and the entire industry, we. Want to have numerous providers, that, are competing, against each other on cost. And innovation, driving. Down the cost and increasing, access to space and, industrializing. Star, top trans Astra, with a new infusion of 2 million dollars from NASA has, teamed up with other space startups, and educational. Institutions to, prove, its process, for harvesting, and utilizing. Water from asteroids, without, even, touching them, optical. Mining is our patent-pending, process. For, using highly, concentrated sunlight, or, light from another source to excavate, the surface without. Having to use digging, tools to dig into it and this. Is very, important, in space especially, for asteroids to. Help develop, and previous, technology, they've, teamed up with the Colorado School of Mines, it's, known as an optical mining, testbed. First. They put the simulated, asteroid in a vacuum chamber to recreate, the conditions of, space. Then. They, use liquid nitrogen to, cool a surface, inside the tank called, a cryo trap then, they turn on a giant, light bulbs, which imitate sunlight, that they then concentrate. Into a beam resulting. In very high temperatures. The, beam of light hits the asteroid target, fractures, a sample, and then water and other materials, are released and frozen, onto the cryo trap the. Volatile, materials, were to include water, methane. Carbon dioxide, other, valuable. Materials, that are common. And cheap here on the ground but, very valuable in space, trapped, on our cryo travela that's pretty nice the. Same way that we would trap. Those chemicals, in space for a real asteroid, mining emission. Optical. Mining, bypass, is a daunting task of trying to land on an object, with such low gravity that, it could simply break apart when touched and there's, no drill to potentially, get stuck but, for this to work they're targeting smaller asteroids, the size of a beach ball for, their take demonstrator, model, with, plans to accommodate rocks, the, size of a cubic tennis court and bigger in future. Models. We. Think the right thing to do is, to rendezvous with the asteroid match. Rotation, with it, put. A thin film bag around it cinch that back down and, then D spin the asteroid, and, now you have the asteroid in a container, so, you can work with it in a practical way. Trane's. Astra believes that harvesting, water on asteroids, will not only make space travel more affordable, for private, industry, but it will make nasa's, proposed missions to take astronauts, to the moon Mars. And even asteroids, possible, within, a budget that, the US Congress may be willing to provide we. Can cut out hundreds. Of billions of dollars and actually, make it possible for, NASA, to do all those exciting missions, in the period of just 20 years or so. By. Harnessing the asteroids, now what's really, cool about it is that, by, using public-private, partnership, and working with companies like trans, Astra the. Infrastructure. For, space resource, harvesting, and commercial. Transport, in space can be developed, so by, NASA doing, it this way and NASA becoming, the first user of these resources and this, infrastructure, for, its exploration, missions then, that infrastructure, is left behind, for. Industry, and, that can create massive, industries. In space like. It even becomes cost-effective, to build a space hotel, trans. Astra, and partner momentous, will be on a two-year contract with NASA to, build that asteroid, mining and in space transportation, prototype. Called mini be to, provide optical, mining in space we. Live in a very exciting, time where. We're going to be able to take that to space and the, resources, of pace are literally, unlimited. And. Those unlimited. Resources, are what some universities. Are betting, on at, the Colorado, School of Mines where trans Astro does its optical mining research they, now offer a graduate, degree in space, resources. Our. Space, resources, program is the first of its kind in the world, there. Is, anticipated. To be a growing, number.
Of Jobs. Directly, in space resources. But. The the skills and practices, of space resources can be applied to lots, of other things and a huge benefit, to space mining, research is that a lot of this technology can be beneficial, here, on earth. Like. Their 3d printer, that uses materials, on the Moon or Mars to, make structures, and is, modeled after startup. Icons, 3d, printer, that is used to make homes on Earth. Their. Penetrator. Is a tool on the end of a robotic arm that's, being developed to, take measurements, on the moon that, has applications. For mining, companies, and even a rover in a lunar test bed that can drill and prospect, for resources has its benefits there, are places. On earth where mining. Companies and equipment, manufacturers. Are looking, at applying smart, robotic, systems in terrestrial. Mines they, could go into places that are not safe for humans. They. Could, work in much more confined. Toxic. Environments, then, a person could and one, country is doing just that and hopes, to leverage, their expertise, in robotic, systems for, mining remote inhospitable, locations. That are all most mars-like. Recently. The administrator. Of NASA when, the head of the Australian Space Agency, visited. Was. Saying that. The u.s. is looking to Australia, to, be doing development. In this area of extracting. Resources in, space one, of the reasons why we in Australia want, to get into this area is. Because of the strength of our mining industry and the strength of our mining automation, and the strength of our mining research we. See it as a way that Australia. Can establish a niche space, capability. Australia's. High wages of course some of the largest mining operations, in the world to, seek cost savings by using automation. Rio. Tinto the world's second largest mining, company has fitted operations, in Australia with. Fleets of autonomous, trucks drills. And even, the first driverless, freight train network, adapting. These technologies, could prove useful to space programs, and the use of space technology in mines such, as robotics would be useful on earth the, Australian, Centre for space engineering, research at the University, of New South Wales in Sydney was, founded, in 2010, and has, 15, PhD. Currentl, graduated, students, researching, space resource ventures, related. To Australia's, needs and expertise. What, we are trying to do at the moment is, to reduce the risk perceived, by. A large company, mining, company for instance. When. They approach this type of venture I think one of the main reasons, that terrestrial. Mining, companies should be looking at this problem is, that they will, benefit. Their, terrestrial operations. By learning some of these lessons so. If they look at the way that you need to automate on the moon that will help their terrestrial operation. If you look at the way you would analyze. Risk for, this type of mine they must learn new lessons which should hopefully flow. Back to, their risk, analysis, for terrestrial lines. Although. Mining, companies have terrestrial, mining expertise, and monetary, advantages, only, time will tell who. Will be the first to provide a fueling, station, in space in. Terms of making it happen I actually. Don't think it'll be a start-up I don't think it'll be a space agency and I don't think it'll be a mining company but, I think it will be a big company. Probably. Driven. By, a high net worth individual, a, company. Like Blue. Origin, SpaceX. A company. Like that not necessarily then but something, like that, proving. That this kind of mining is feasible could trigger an influx, of profit. Minded companies, migrating. Of the earth, just. One industry, that would stake a claim on, the vast wealth of space.
Not. Only is the universe a place for exploration the. Private companies it's a new resource the. Key which will unlock new, possibilities. In technology. Manufacturing. Living, and working both, at home and Beyond, Earth and all. Of this will be the result of our next giant, leap.