Chart: many asteroids are worth quintillions of dollars each

The asteroid belt holds untold wealth for the prospectors who can reach and mine them. Wired UK just published an interesting chart of select asteroids valued between 1 and 27 quintillion dollars each.

Per Visual Capitalist:

Many asteroids are measured in the quintillions of dollars, which makes the market for Earth’s annual production of raw metals – about $660 billion per year – look paltry in comparison. The reality is that the Earth’s crust is saddled with uneconomic materials, while certain types of asteroids are almost pure metal. X-type asteroids, for example, are thought to be the remnants of large asteroids that were pulverized in collisions in which their dense, metallic cores got separated from the mantle. There is one such X-type asteroid near earth that is believed to hold more platinum than ever mined in human history.

Infographic: Mining asteroids (Wired via Visual Capitalist)

Notable Replies

  1. LDoBe says:

    Asteroid farming would ruin our economy. The only way it'd work is if it were accessible to a lot of people. But if only one or a few orgs had a shot at it, it'd ruin Earth's economy.

  2. Our economic system is already fucked. If we step back from worrying about the economy, there's no question that getting that quantity of raw resources without the attendant environmental destruction from mining them here would be a huge boon. Also, fuck mining companies. Those fuckers business model should have been made illegal ages ago. They can't get driven out of business too soon.

  3. Kimmo says:

    As usual, it'd mean a handful of folks get disgustingly rich

  4. The lure of money will get a colony on Mars faster than the lure of science.

  5. TobinL says:

    It would be fun to watch all the gold bugs have a cow over the now relatively worthless metal.

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