Raw material mining soon in space?

Airbus boss Enders is convinced by idea

Tom Enders, Airbus CEO, sees the mining of raw materials on asteroids as a practical alternative. “By any stretch of the imagination, I can’t see what’s unethical about using mineral resources on some boulders tumbling around in space” the manager said. Other nations are already ready for this step. In Germany, the matter must first be clarified by the ethics committees.

Last Thursday the Space Congress IAC took place in Bremen. There Enders wanted to talk about the possibilities of the space economy. At the moment there is no research on technologies that are supposed to enable the extraction of raw materials in space. “There are more obvious goals for this, like the moon” explains Enders. “For the time being, it is ambitious enough to return to the moon and use the moon as a basis for other missions. But even for that there would be no concrete strategy yet. “But that’s a long-term goal and doesn’t fit into a five-year plan.”

According to Enders, it is also necessary to reform space policy. “I think Europe must wake up. We need more efficient structures and higher budgets.” Competitiveness is hampered above all by the fact that a country’s space industry orders depend primarily on the respective budget for European space projects. “This forces us, for example, to produce parts for a rocket in too many countries, which then have to be transported all over Europe.”