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Is There a Future in Asteroid Mining?

By Motley Fool Staff – Jul 2, 2016 at 9:07AM

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Asteroid mining, solar production on the moon -- new exciting potential for the energy and materials sector.

Luxembourg recently put up a significant sum of money to develop a program that will mine valuable materials from asteroids, then ship them back to Earth.

In this clip from The Motley Fool's Industry Focus: Energy podcast, Taylor Muckerman and Sean O'Reilly take a look at how space-based energy and materials production is starting to look less like science fiction every day.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on June 23, 2016.

Lindsay Zadunayski: With Luxembourg setting aside 300 million euros to develop asteroid mining, is it time to begin seriously considering the industry as a possibility in the next 10 or 20 years?

Taylor Muckerman: I don't know. I can't predict a time frame, but I can tell you that Jeff Bezos believes that one day, all heavy industry will take place in space.

Sean O'Reilly: He said that, because the energy for industry is way better with solar up in...that's why, right?

Muckerman: Yeah, because you don't have to fight with the atmosphere, the ozone layer, and any of that, so you're just harnessing pure power of the sun when you're in space.

O'Reilly: The moon's going to be a giant factory.

Muckerman: Yeah, it really could be, and then just people living and light industry on planet Earth. When you look at what they say is the composition of these asteroids in terms of rare Earth minerals, it blows the Earth's compilation out of the water. You could be looking at trillion-dollar asteroids floating around.

O'Reilly: Right, because they've got like platinum in them and stuff...my gosh!

Muckerman: Yeah, they have everything. The difficulty here is obviously landing on an asteroid that's flying through space rather than the moon that's in a more predictable orbit.

O'Reilly: Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck will do it.

Muckerman: They'll figure it out. Bruce Willis will be 80 landing on an asteroid in some movie, somewhere down the line.

O'Reilly: Lindsay, I have a question for you. Would you be willing to go up into space to lasso an asteroid?

Zadunayski: It would definitely be pretty fun.

Muckerman: Yeah, I would have to imagine.

O'Reilly: One heck of a ride.

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