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Home / Science / Mitch Hunter-Scullion, the Scottish prospector of the 21st century, says there's money in these asteroids

Mitch Hunter-Scullion, the Scottish prospector of the 21st century, says there's money in these asteroids



It's the business plan that could have come straight out of the script of a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster.

A Scottish entrepreneur offers a new gold rush worth billions of pounds – through mining in space.

Mitch Hunter-Scullion, 23, is seeking £ 2.3 million to build a satellite that can identify platinum metal deposits on near-Earth asteroids.

And although it seems like the science of the future, asteroid mining is expected to become big business, believing that the celestial bodies are full of precious metals and minerals.

NASA estimates that the total value of asteroid-encased resources is $ 100 billion ($ 75 billion) for every person on Earth.

The Asteroid Mining Corporation, led by Hunter-Scullion, is the first company in the country to join the industry of the future.

 Herald Scotland:

He has an action plan that could start mining in ten years.

But the first space contractor to launch the UK's first asteroid mine mission is seeking £ 2.3 million to build a satellite capable of identifying platinum-group metal deposits on near-Earth asteroids.

The Liverpool Hope University student hopes to launch the Asteroid Prospecting Satellite One (APS1) from India in 2020 to perform a spectral scan and determine if there are "viable candidates" for mining.

He calculates that a single metallic asteroid 25 meters in diameter contains about 29 tons of platinum worth about 725 million pounds.

"Yes, I think it's possible," he said. "Our goal is to develop breakthrough technologies that ultimately enable the extraction, processing and use of materials derived from the many millions of asteroids known to exist near Earth.

 Herald Scotland:

"The APS1 will be our first step to this success – the APS1 will be a spectroscopic space telescope that will collect data on target asteroids and serve as a test for some of our technologies that we will enlarge for you later on.

"Our crowdfunding campaign to help us finance the costs of the APS1 is now underway and we are confident that we can generate enough investment."

Mr. Hunter-Scullion, who built AMC into asteroid mining after completing my PhD at Liverpool Hope University, added, "While doing research, I realized that there were very few companies that did not mine an asteroid in Great Britain.

 Herald Scotland:

"It was an issue that intrigued me and when I finished studying, I decided to found AMC and work on developing technologies that would open up the possibilities of an OTC commercial market."

Mr. Hunter-Scullion has received prior business dealings support from Business Gateway Glasgow and is now working to make the mining legal. He is working with the International Institute for Air and Space Law at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands to prepare a proposal for a UK draft law on space resources.

The company believes that this legislation is critical to the development of the space mine industry in the UK, as it allows UK-based companies to tap mineral deposits of asteroids, the moon and other celestial bodies.

Mr. Hunter Scullion does not recognize the potential of asteroids alone.

The first asteroid company, Planetary Resources, was founded in 2012 by Diamandis, Chris Lewicki and others in Washington, USA. Within a year, the US company Deep Space Industries was founded by Rick Tumlinson, Stephen Cover and many others.

Goldman Sachs bankers are also hoping to build an "asteroid-grabbing spacecraft" to extract billions of mines.

A 98-page report by the banking investment firm last year claimed that the mining of asteroids for precious metals would be a "realistic" goal in the near future.

"Prospecting probes can probably be built for tens of millions of dollars each, and Caltech [California Institute of Technology] has suggested that an asteroid-grabbing spaceship could cost $ 2.6 billion," the report said.

So far, no asteroid has been directly sampled, but NASA wants to change that by sending a probe to the mineral-rich 16-psyche asteroid.

16 Psyche is located in the great asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is one of the most mysterious objects in the solar system and could be worth a small fortune.

It is a 130-mile-wide metal lump consisting of iron, nickel and rare metals, including gold, platinum and copper.

NASA announced in January 2017 that it intends to send a probe to the asteroid to test its chemical composition in 2022.

It was calculated that the iron in 16 psyche alone would be worth £ 8,072 quadrillion.


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