Raw Materials from Space



Walt Whitman was right: Earth is not a closed system. The road to the riches of the solar system lies open. Nature has provided humanity with a virtually unlimited supply of raw materials, and that supply is right above our heads. The asteroids, comets, planets, and moons of the solar system contain enough of the soon-to-be-scarce raw materials required to feed our technological civilization for thousands of years.


Solar Wind Solar System Lunar Surface Solar Sail Space Miner 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further Reading

  1. For more about the possibility of future wars over natural resources, we recommend Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, by Michael T. Klare (New York: Holt, 2002). A good source of data on solar system objects is Katharina Lodders and Bruce Fegley, Jr., The Planetary Scientist’s Companion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). One of the best sources on solar-system resources is the very readable John S. Lewis, Mining the Sky (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1996). A somewhat more venerable treatment of the same topic, authored by an ex-astronaut, is Brian O’Leary, The Fertile Stars (New York: Everitt House, 1981).Google Scholar
  2. Technical treatments of NEO resources and NEO mining possibilities can be found in two scientific papers by Richard Gertsch, John L. Remo, and Leslie Sour Gertsch, “Near-Earth Resources” and “Mining Near-Earth Resources,” published in the proceedings of the United Nations-sponsored conference at which they were presented: John L. Remo ed., Near Earth Objects, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1997, Vol. 822.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MadisonUSA
  2. 2.BrooklynUSA

Personalised recommendations