This study was undertaken to determine if the U.S. Geological Survey’s process for conducting mineral resource assessments on Earth can be applied to asteroids. Successful completion of the assessment, using water and iron resources to test the workflow, has resulted in identification of the minimal adjustments required to conduct full resource assessments beyond Earth. We also identify the types of future studies that would greatly reduce uncertainties in an actual future assessment. Whereas this is a feasibility study and does not include a complete and robust analysis of uncertainty, it is clear that the water and metal resources in near-Earth asteroids are sufficient to support humanity should it become a fully space-faring species.
|Title||Feasibility study for the quantitative assessment of mineral resources in asteroids|
|Authors||Laszlo P. Keszthelyi, Justin Hagerty, Amanda Bowers, Karl J. Ellefsen, Ian Ridley, Trude King, David Trilling, Nicholas Moskovitz, Will Grundy|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Astrogeology Science Center|