Title: Resources in space and asteroid mining: where we are and which challenges should be expected

Authors: José Antonio Peña-Ramos; Fernando Rafael Ramírez-de Luis

Addresses: Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Av. Pedro de Valdivia 425, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile; Universidad de Granada, Hospital Real, Cuesta del Hospicio, s/n, Granada-18071, Spain ' Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Ctra. de Utrera, km. 1, 41013, Sevilla, Spain

Abstract: Asteroid mining is being presented by the media in an optimistic light, with claims about imminent massive investment, a legion of entrepreneurs with their eyes put on a potentially lucrative industry, and a future full of possibilities both for the technologic sector and for the development of a whole new way of doing business with natural resources. But is this a 'scramble for space' a possibility, at least in the short-term, or just another dystopian exaggeration doomed to oblivion? In this article, we try to present a sobering thought on this phenomenon by assessing three key elements of space mining: the state of technology, whether there is adequate regulation of this flourishing industry, be it at the national or the international level, and the interests which are at stake should the space mining sector finally take off, and how they may develop over time, especially in a conflictive manner.

Keywords: technology; asteroid mining; natural resources; regulation; investment; entrepreneurs; business; conflicts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2020.108980

International Journal of Technology Management, 2020 Vol.82 No.3/4, pp.197 - 205

Accepted: 19 Feb 2020
Published online: 13 Aug 2020 *

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