The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

The US Federal Government should mine asteriod.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 680 times Debate No: 53222
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Hello. I'd like to argue that the US federal governement shouldn't mine asteroid. Round one is for acceptance only.
Mine:"an excavation made in the earth for the purpose of extracting ores, coal, precious stones, etc." from
Asteroid: any of the thousands of small bodies of from 480 miles (775km) to less than one mile (1.6 km) in diameter that revolve about the sun in orbits lying mostly between those of Mars and Jupiter.
Good luck!


Thanks for the challenge. I accept.

For the definition of mine we are going to have to have a different definition since the asteroids will be mined in space and not on Earth, so I will use the second definition of mine from

Mine- place where such minerals (gold, silver, Rare Earth Metals, etc...) may be obtained, either by excavation or by the washing of soil. (

I look forward to a great debate!
Debate Round No. 1


1. It's nobody's property
Nobody really owns space. If the US decides to mine asteroid, as a consequence, other countries will be competing against the space asteroid, and things will only become super complicated as everyone tries to decide who really owns the property, possibly even starting Star Wars! *Ahem* No pun intended.
See: This site shows that we are still very confused, uncertain about who really owns the asteroids in the sky.

2. It's super duper dangerous
As stated by, " asteroid can travel at the speed of 1,000 miles per hour. As it gets closer to the Earth, the pull of gravity will effect how fast asteroids... increase its speed from 2,500 miles per hour up to 50,000 miles per hour." This shows the danger of sending astronauts onto asteroids. Plus, we'd have to predict the path so the spaceship can drop them off in time to mine the asteroid. This would only require more money, in addition to the building of the rocket and the training of the astronaut miners.

3. It's extremely costly, and makes other minerals worth less
"To build a space shuttle costs $1.7 billion. On top of that it costs $450 million or so per mission to launch the shuttle into space using 900,000 gallons of fuel." says Plus, even building the asteroid mine would take billions of dollars. Combined together, the project is a complete crazy rip-off price, and it would take lots and lots of mining to reobtain that huge amount of money. And plus, now that new minerals are found, they become more worthless. " One of these asteroids, according to Lewis, would contain 30 million tons of nickel, 1.5 million tons of metal cobalt and 7,500 tons of platinum." a scientist from Well, it would have been worth a ton of money that would be able to buy hundereds of space shuttles, but we must be reminded that it is because of the rarity of the certain object, that it is worth a lot. Had platinum been as availible as water, obviously it would not be even in the 1000s in a list of "world's most expensive things".

And finally....I will post a troll reason to why the US government shouldn't mine minerals. I couldn't reasist.
4. Too much competition, people will die.
Simple. Examine the pictures below and make your connections.

In conclusion mining costs way too much, will cause too many financial problems, and will cause chaos, war, and death.
Vote con.


Contention 1: Funding

The US federal government will reallocate $10 billion dollars to NASA in order to mine asteroids. It costs $2.6 to mine the actual asteroid, but the rest is to figure the cost refining the ore and in case something goes wrong. ( per US law if NASA doesn't use this money it gets taken away. So we wouldn't be wasting any money.

Contention 2: The need and why we need it.

95% of the world's REM supply belongs to China. ( China is starting to crack down on REM exports to the US leading to almost chaos. ( Japan has already started to stop exporting REMs to Japan showing that they are capable of doing such a thing. This will harm the Japanese economy and since they are a great industrial nation, it will harm the rest of the world as well. (

You may think no big deal, but if it goes any further it will lead to US crackdown on China and with the US trying to put leverage on the US China will most likely do the same leading to an economic down of the US and then China then the world. Why is this you may ask? It is the fact that the US is entirely reliant on China and the fact that China is also to reliant on the US if one falls they both do. China is already in a massive trade war with the US and this can be a possible scenario as the Chinese and the US are in a trade war over Solar Panels. (

2nd scenario.

We all know that REM are what we use in batteries, cell phones, and even military technology. So it is key that the wealth gets spread around. Since China is hoarding them the US could try to force China to give them up. This is very likely to happen since nation's in the past of done this type of thing.

Look at Japan when they attack the US due to the US oil embargo on them. This will lead to a possible WW3 and this scenario is likely to happen because once you run out of REMs then you're out. ( is a war that will hurt many nation and has a potential to go nuclear and the world will likely end due to this episode. (“The Asian Ascent: Opportunity for Peace or Precondition for War?,” International Studies Perspectives, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 36-42)

Also the war will be likely to escalate into a nuclear war and with today's nuclear weaponry of Neutron Bombs will excellerate the Earth's volcanic activity causing Earth to explode. ( Dr. Tom J. Chalko states that the militaries will be likely to use this bomb, because of it's radiation's ability to penetrated the deepest bunkers to fry troops.

Contention 3: Economic pay back!

It's $195 billion per asteroid! ( s think about the trade of it'll take $2.7 billion to mine while the profit is $195 billion. With this kind of profit the US will be able to finally start to pay off it's debts which will increase trade interest with the US from other nations. The US can use this money to quickly pay off it's overbearing debt and restore the value of the US dollar. This will place the US economy back ahead of China's.

Contention 4: Danger, what danger?

We will not be sending up astronauts to mine the asteroids, but machines. NASA is currently working on machines that will mine these asteroids and my opponent forgets that we do not need people to do this as we currently have several Rovers on Mars that are operated by the scientists in NASA. (

Asteroids have been mined before as the Japanese company, JAXA, has mined an asteroid with the explorer Hayabusa. (

For fuel we do not have to use fossil fuels because we couldn't get too far but we will use like NASA has always used and that is solar sails and that gets us to were we need to go. (
Debate Round No. 2


Your plan only burdens the US with more debt.

2. Why we need it
You have yet to give any sources that even suggest that asteroids have REMs.

3. Economic pay back
As I have already stated, the value of these minerals will plummet as the governments around the world compete to mine it before one another. If there were merely one diamond left in the world right now, that diamond would be at least 100 times more valuable than one diamond in a world with, say, 1,000 diamonds left. It is because of the rarity of platinum, gold, and silver that they are expensive. If we know each asteroid has 7,500 tons of platinum, soon enough, we'd have too much platinum to use, and the unusable platinum would be useless. And plus, World War III could start, with all the country leaders wanting the minerals for themselves, and the war would ensure chaos around the globe and ultimately leave no country able to shoot a rocket up to an asteroid, because each country would be afraid another country might shoot their rocket down for the reason of jealousy. It is because of the fierce competition for property of the asteroids, the US shouldn't mine asteroid, as this may destroy already thread-bare alliances between other countries. My opponent has even agreed that China hoards the REM to themselves and the US can't force China to give the resources up. What is preventing China from hoarding the asteroid property all the same?
Your war is nothing compared to mine. My WW3 happens in land, air, water, AND space! Yours doesn't have space, because asteroids don't matter in this case.

4. Danger
Well the opposing countries could still send opposing robots to destruct the competition, and the spaceships, if advanced enough, could fire and target on their own, still resulting in the consequence I posed in my "troll argument".

Onto you, pro.


Contention 1: Funding

My opponent is incorrect. The US will not receive more debt as reallocation of money is moving funds from one area to another from what we already have. We are not using any new source of money. (

Contention 2: Why we need it.

The reason that I did not bring up any sources stating that they had REMs is, because Con did so in Round 2. I will bring one source up just to please Con though. (

Contention 3: Economic pay back

My opponent fails to realise that the US will just do with the REMs that South Africa does with diamonds. We will keep most of them stored away, like the gold in Fort Knox. The prices will continue to increase while the US will make a profit. My opponent also fails to see that the world will run out of resources by the year 2050 and then nuclear holocaust will occur. ( As I brought up last round the nuclear holocaust will destroy the world according to Dr. Chalko. We also do not have the weaponry to put into space for space wars to be remotely possible. The US has tried to put weapons into space before and failed epically in the Strategic Defense Initiative, also known as Star Wars. (

My argument stands as we will eventually get to the point that the Earth runs out of resources and will lead to resource wars. While my opponent only speculates that war will occur, because the world cannot co-operate. My impact outweighs my opponent's.

Contention 4: Danger

As I stated in my last contention the world has failed in 'Star Wars' and that the world will work together via the UN to negotiate peaceful purposes while the US continues to mine asteroids and betters their economy and the world economy. (
Debate Round No. 3


How will we get this money while still ignoring the debt upon our shoulders?

Similar to platinum, as REM sources become more available, it will decrease in value.

The need for resources will only increase, when all the countries compete in a frenzied manner over the asteroids. Although weapons may not be available, the space ships can still crash into each other, creating more space debris and chaos.

This really hasn't worked out well before. One example is the feudal war period. Another example is how Columbus battled with the Indians for the land of America, then claimed that he was the first to discover USA even though he really was not. What guarantees that this type of thing won't happen?

Vote con.


Contention 1: Funding

This money, as stated in my last round, will be reallocated from another already existing fund. With the philosophy my opponent is using the US should have to focus all of it's tax income on the US debt for years. As I brought up in my last round we will use the money from the resources to payoff the US debt and the money will be reallocated meaning that there will be no new budget increases.

Contention 2: REMs

My opponent here again also fails to see my argument last round. We will simply hoard the REMs like South Africa does diamonds. The price will increase and the US will receive a huge profit. So please extend across my argument here.

Contention 3: Resource Wars

They could do that, but you have to realise that only a few nations out there can actually afford this technology and that very few nations would be competing over these resources. My nuclear war argument still outweighs your space debris argument, because we will see the impacts sooner.

Contention 4: Danger

My opponent is completely ignoring the UN co-operation argument so that this will be fair and that nations will not fall apart. This argument also negates my opponent's in Contention 3 showing that my point stands in every contention that I have made.

I would like to thank you and please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
Could you please hold off to responding til tomorrow, because I'll be away from my computer for the weekend working the Expo center for the Roadrunners playoff games.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
This marks my 200th debate.
Posted by Kc1999 2 years ago
Interesting. I'll be observing this debate.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
I'll accept Monday, because prom is this weekend.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mhykiel 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I feel both sides put up a worthy debate. Con made some statements such as increased debt and others, that were fully rebutted by Pro. I think Pro made a convincing argument that the benefits of robotic assisted mining of asteroids would be worth the challenges and negatives. This answer many of Con arguments such as the one for loss of human life and value of REMs.