Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) are potentially civilization killers and resource asset. We can see both side of actions from the world are trying to find solutions for the respective agenda. For the past few decades, NASA and a few organizations started programs to find these NEA and calculate the potential threat of earth impact in the future. By finding these NEAs as early as possible, we might be able to prepare such a threat with proper solutions to avoid the impact. Here is the link on what solutions have been proposed.
Recently founded Planetary Resources Inc., on the other side of coin, is interested in mining activities in the space. According to their website: "Planetary Resources, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. Our vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the Solar System within humanity’s economic sphere of influence. The company will conduct low-cost robotic space exploration beginning with the Arkyd Series of space missions that will identify the most commercially viable near-Earth asteroids. These initial missions will assist the company in enabling the retrieval of raw materials from these select asteroids, including water, precious metals and more."
Blue Energy Australia believes a few important technologies we are working on will be essential to build such Earth defence system if NEA impact event happens in the future. Likewise, we think, companies like Planetary Resources Inc. will need reliable space technologies and treaties such as:
- Fast space travel vehicles beyond conventional rocket engine capacity
- Reliable, compact onboard high density energy source (Nuclear fuel) management solutions
- External energy harvesting, storage (Solar)
- High power, extremely long duration propulsion system which does't require high volume of mass ejection
- Exotic/unconventional material process solution in a weightless environment
- Large payload cargo vehicles that are very safe and reliable for material and crew transit journey
- Global outer space mining legislation recognized by majority of sovereign nations
Without these elements, search NEA only gives us the early warning without feasible solutions to avoid Armageddon.