Just as prospectors in the 19th century found riches that made it worth the effort and risk to travel to California, the promise of resources in near Earth asteroids is compelling to some companies today.
(credit: Planetary Resources)

Expensive, difficult, and dangerous

by Greg Anderson
Monday, October 22, 2012

Most people, when asked their opinion about moving into space, may say the money and effort spent on that could better be spent dealing with Earthly concerns. At least that seems to be the prevailing assumption of the governing classes of America. People will often say going into space is not only too expensive, but also too difficult and too dangerous. Of course, the American people, according to polls and other indicators, have always viewed NASA and the space program favorably, but the truth is also that space policy has never played a major role in American elections, which is probably why the most politicians tend to ignore it.

That could change quickly if companies like Planetary Resources begin to succeed in bringing extraterrestrial resources into the human economy. Then, governments around the world will feel the need to regulate and control the spanking new wealth—and no doubt claim a part of it in the name of their people.

Read more: The Space Review: Expensive, difficult, and dangerous.

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