The Technological and Economic Feasibility of Asteroid Mining
[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]
Naval Postgraduate School
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The objective of this thesis is to determine the technological and economic feasibility of asteroid mining. This thesis elaborates on why the key technological development should be further developing water extraction and manufacturing techniques. This secondary research was conducted with a survey of the technical and economic conclusions of many books, conference papers, and journal articles. Even though a mobile in-situ water extractor has demonstrated water extraction capabilities, the technology is not yet ready to be utilized in an actual asteroid mining architecture in the harsh climates of outer space. This thesis concludes that asteroid mining will be technologically feasible but will only be economically feasible upon further refinement of water manufacturing techniques on celestial bodies. This thesis recommends further investment into water extraction and manufacturing techniques from commercial companies and the government in order to increase the economic viability of asteroid mining.