Japan is contributing to the increasing possibility of mining asteroids and the technology including satellite technology is advancing closer to making asteroid mining a very real possibility. Planetary Resources and the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) have independently conducted feasibility studies for asteroid mining and retrieval (“Asteroid Mining Venture”, 2012) and (“Is Asteroid Mining Possible?”, 2012). Very few people realize just how deeply involved Japan is in developing asteroid mining technology which explains Japan’s advanced satellite technology and engineering capacity.
“Japan conducted a successful sample return mission to the asteroid Itokawa, an important stepping stone towards future sample of asteroid retrieval missions (JAXA, 2012). The Hayabusa mission to this asteroid was able to autonomously approach, land on, collect data on the surface and topography,and collect a sample of the Itokawa asteroid and return to earth to drop the sample containing capsule in Australia.”
The video clip below demonstrates how far mining technology is in its development and it makes sense the amount of money being invested in this technology. One asteroid near earth is estimated to be worth US$200 billion say asteroid miners. And a real surprse is that the most profitable asteroid is: The 253 Mathilde, a 52.8 km-diameter C-type (carbonaceous) asteroid that has an estimated value of over $100 trillion and estimated profit of $9.53 trillion (USD). Is it any wonder the asteroid mining technology and engineering competition is heating up? One captured asteroid estimated to be valued at $9.53 trillion? The Japanese want their share of this incredibly lucrative area of asteroid mining.