As space agencies and private companies are busy formulating plans to conduct mining on space bodies and asteroids, a group of scientists has now warned that uncontrolled space mining will result in an extreme crisis in the coming years. The proposal from these scientists reveals that at least 85 percent of the solar system should be protected from human interference and development for a better future, The Guardian reports.
The research report which will be published in the upcoming edition of the journal Acta Astronautica also states that the primary goal is to ensure that humanity will prevent the possibility of a catastrophic future where all the resources get permanently used up.
"If we don't think about this now, we will go ahead as we always have, and in a few hundred years we will face an extreme crisis, much worse than we have on Earth now. Once you've exploited the solar system, there's nowhere left to go," Martin Elvis, a senior astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts told the Guardian.
The research report also revealed that space mining should be conducted wisely, and drilling activities should be conducted in the right places. Elvis claimed that one-eighth of the iron resources in the asteroid belt is more than a million times greater than the estimated iron ore reserves on Earth, and this factor makes this belt a perfect place for mining this mineral.
Researchers also added that the areas which should be protected from mining should be determined wisely, and it will be always a nuanced decision. Citing an example, researchers revealed that Valles Marineris on Mars, the largest canyon in the solar system should be equally protected in the same manner as we conserve the Grand Canyon on earth.
"Do we want cities on the near side of the moon that lights up at night? Would that be inspiring or horrifying? And what about the rings of Saturn? They are beautiful, almost pure water ice. Is it OK to mine those so that in 100 years they are gone?" added Elvis.