Ramblings of a Curiosity Seeker
As in material value, rock and stuff - certainly below the break-even point of collecting it. BUTscientific value - immensetechnology falloff - equally immense, both as applied sciences and as technical start-up capital. I've read that a huge boost to the American economy over the last centuries has been in technology companies (some not so technical) arising from the space program.
The rock is not worth much per se. There was a diagram I saw that basically stated that the best projected asteroid ore is worth at best $12k/ton based on market value of the metal therein. However, what would NASA pay for it? Anything? Nothing? Could you make a business case for doing sample return?That said, the idea of the spinoffs driving the US economy is a waaaay overused trope. The Space program, as much as I love it, has been a techno consumer rather than producer.
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