Utilising Space Resources for Collective Prosperity
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Utilising Space Resources for Collective Prosperity
Use the future to build the present
Utilising Space Resources for Collective Prosperity
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5.5SyntheticBiology5.4Science ofthe Originsof Life5.3FutureEconomics5.2Future ofEducation5.1ComplexSystemsScience4.4Democracy-affirming Technologies4.1Science-basedDiplomacy4.2Advances inScience Diplomacy4.3Digital Technologiesand Conflict3.7InfectiousDiseases3.6Solar RadiationModification3.5OceanStewardship3.4SpaceResources3.3Future FoodSystems3.2WorldSimulation3.1Decarbonisation2.6FutureTherapeutics2.5Organoids2.4ConsciousnessAugmentation2.3RadicalHealthExtension2.2HumanApplicationsof GeneticEngineering2.1CognitiveEnhancement1.6CollectiveIntelligence1.5AugmentedReality1.4BiologicalComputing1.3Brain-inspiredComputing1.2QuantumTechnologies1.1AdvancedAIHIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIAL
5.5SyntheticBiology5.4Science ofthe Originsof Life5.3FutureEconomics5.2Future ofEducation5.1ComplexSystemsScience4.4Democracy-affirming Technologies4.1Science-basedDiplomacy4.2Advances inScience Diplomacy4.3Digital Technologiesand Conflict3.7InfectiousDiseases3.6Solar RadiationModification3.5OceanStewardship3.4SpaceResources3.3Future FoodSystems3.2WorldSimulation3.1Decarbonisation2.6FutureTherapeutics2.5Organoids2.4ConsciousnessAugmentation2.3RadicalHealthExtension2.2HumanApplicationsof GeneticEngineering2.1CognitiveEnhancement1.6CollectiveIntelligence1.5AugmentedReality1.4BiologicalComputing1.3Brain-inspiredComputing1.2QuantumTechnologies1.1AdvancedAIHIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIAL

Opportunities:

Utilising Space Resources for Collective Prosperity

    The minerals locked up in the most valuable asteroid in our solar system are worth $15 quintillion, according to estimates from startup Planetary Resources. The number should be taken with a grain of salt, but even if it is off by several orders of magnitude, the sum would still be colossal.

    The ability to mine these minerals is at least 25 years away and the economic benefits are still uncertain, but their scale demonstrates the enormous opportunities lying beyond Earth's atmosphere. Taking advantage of this abundance is beyond any one country or industry and will require renewed multilateralism to ensure the global commons of space benefits all of humanity. Setting the stage for a new, collaborative approach to using space resources will also have nearer-term impacts as we expand our use of lowEarth orbit and prepare to go to the Moon.

    • What is the potential scale of space resources, and will we be able to exploit them?
    • Will/Should space resources boost development on Earth or fuel off-world expansion?
    • What rights should countries have to own or exploit resources beyond Earth's orbit?

    Takeaway messages

    Interest is widely growing among nations and private companies towards the identification, extraction and use of space resources.
    Companies are willing to take on risks that space agencies prefer to avoid in the space exploration race, but the business model behind that risk-taking has yet to be fully developed.
    In this fast-moving field, a step-by-step system of “adaptive governance” is the best way to approach technological, financial and regulatory issues.
    How to give equitable access to resources and technology, and how to broaden the involvement of developing nations, are important questions without clear answers.
    More knowledge about asteroids is needed that goes beyond Earth observations and can only be gained through space missions. Academic institutions and space agencies are developing such missions.
    In addition to UN discussions about the regulation of space resources, another forum at the international level is needed to encompass private sector-related issues such as extraction safety zones, environmental protection measures and mining priority rights.
    Potential conflicts exist between the use of space resources for Earth or for further space exploration.