A group of American scientists from the Smithsonian astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge called for the development of severe restrictive measures on the mining worlds of the Solar system. Experts point out that humanity can drain the Solar system as well as the nature of the Earth, if unchecked, will begin to use its resources.
In the new study, which will soon be published in the journal Acta Astronautica, stating that the industrial revolution, which began about two hundred years ago, in such a short in geological terms, the term has changed beyond recognition our planet.
The wildlife are reduced, the atmosphere and the oceans polluted, about one million species are under threat of extinction. Because technology is developing sterile pace, and humanity will soon be able to begin to mine minerals on other planets and their satellites, with the same negative scenario could be repeated, but on a larger scale, scientists say. If the exploration of space will go fast as well as the development of world economies, humanity will completely drain water, iron, mineral and other resources of the Solar system in only 400 years.
“If we don’t think about this now and just move on, as we always do throughout human history, then after a few hundred years will face a crisis of monumental proportions, much worse than is now observed on the Ground,” said a senior astrophysicist at the Smithsonian astrophysical Observatory and lead author of a recent study, Martin Elvis.
The transformation of the Solar system, until the remote corners, in parched desert to Rob us of our home. And we have nowhere else to go, the authors of the study. Therefore, scientists urge to keep 85% of the system intact, turning them into a kind of national parks Land.
The galactic limit consumption to one-eighth of the available resources might seem like a bad arrangement, but space is a big place and even a small part to the generosity of our Solar system could give humanity a lot.
“The eighth part of the iron in the asteroid belt more than a million times all the iron ore reserves on Earth, and this may be sufficient for centuries,” lead example, the authors of the study.
The development of the “principle of one-eighth”, the researchers considered a sample using the iron on the Earth since the industrial revolution.
According to the U.S. Geological survey (USGS), they doubled every twenty years. If in 1800 the volume of production amounted to about 450 thousand tons, in 1994 – already 900 million tons. And by 2016, that is a total of over 22 years, world production has increased up to 2 – 2.2 billion tonnes.
If humanity begins also eager to mine resources on other planets of the Solar system, they will be enough for about 460 years, scientists have calculated. After that we will have to sharply go to a completely other sources that, in the opinion of the author of the report, looks very unrealistic prospect.
Scientists have noted that plans for space exploration, we can safely eliminate massive worlds with strong gravity like Jupiter. To mine the resources of humanity are unlikely. Much more promising worlds scientists call more near Earth objects, the Moon and Mars, as well as iron-rich body, passing through the asteroid belt.
At the same time, the authors note that currently the pace of launching interplanetary missions not too intense – about 15 projects in a decade. If this trend continues, people will take 130 years to at least once to visit potentially suitable for research objects. However, as soon as the necessary technology that allows you to quickly, safely and efficiently mine resources on other planets, it will start a chain reaction.
“As soon as someone starts to get unrealistic amounts of revenue from mining resources in space, it would be the equivalent of the gold rush. We must take this very seriously,” says Elvis.
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