Deep Space Capitalism, here we come!

Sometimes, you have to love capitalism. I’m serious, this post is not a joke. For decades, science fiction fan and space enthusiasts like me dreamed about the first steps in the new space race, the colonization of our Solar System. A big part of this dream is related to the transformation of the asteroids in useful minerals sources, not to mention the chance to use some of them as bases in the Asteroid Belt.

There’s a beautiful site, aptly named Asterank (link here), where the available data about known asteroids are compiled and offered for public use. What amazes me the most is the purposed classification of the asteroids, something that speaks volumes about our possible future. “Most cost effective” or “Most valuable” may appear as bizarre right now, but are nonetheless an effective way to look at our rocky neighbors.

An example? The asteroid Bennu (that will be reached by the OSIRIS-REX mission for a sample-return mission) is listed at 669.96 million USD value for an estimated profit of 185 million USD. Not bad at all. Want more? The asteroid Ryugu, actually in the crosshairs of the Hayabusa2 mission for another sample-return mission, is listed at 82.76 billion USD  for an estimated profit of 30.07 billion USD. That’s much better! For many asteroids and other celestial bodies, there are not enough data so it will be pointless to estimate values. Others are too little or too far to be of any commercial interest.

Is there Capitalism in deep space? Not today. Not even tomorrow. It’s still something I hope to see in my lifetime.

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3 thoughts on “Deep Space Capitalism, here we come!

  1. Curiously enough I am writing a story in which space has been developed and colonized by capitalist initiative. As it usually happens with capitalism in my experience, in my story the first generation was cool, the second thought only about money, the third is basically planning on having fun at other people’s expenses and screw what happens next.
    But apart from this… yes, the capital is developing space.

    • It’s always good news to know that you’re writing sci-fi, more good stuff to read! For the difference between generations, it’s the story of the family trade, as told in our country in the last 70 years. The private initiative will be the real drive for the next phase of the space race, no doubt at all for me. What will happen is anybody guesses, but I will place a bet for some kind of moonbase in the near future.

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