National Space Society ISDC 2013
Asteroid Panel: Threats or Resources?
Asteroid panel: Mark Sonter, Director, Mining and Processing, Deep Space Industries; Stephen J. Kortenkamp, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute; Dr. Martin Elvis, Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Dr. Bong Wie, Director, Iowa Asteroids Deflection Research Center. Moderated by Stephen D. Covery, Asteroid Mining Group.
It is clear that asteroids are a threat. Large ones cause extinction level events and global devastation, but even relatively tiny ones can cause significant injuries, deaths, and damage. It's equally clear that asteroids hold vast resources and offer the potential to fund and support humanity's expansion into the solar system. Unfortunately, the early markets for asteroid resources are in Earth orbit, implying that potentially dangerous quantities of asteroidal materials need to be moved close to the Earth - and that sounds dangerous. This panel will discuss the question: Do the riches outweigh the risks?