Master of Science
Planetary Science and Exploration
Osinski, Gordon R.
The potential for NEAs as targets for space resource utilization has been explored. Water and PGEs have been identified as resources with potential profitability in existing markets. Of the ~18,000 asteroids in the known NEA catalogue, seven and three are expected to be prospective for water and PGEs when accounting for size, resource concentration, and accessibility. Improved NEA discovery campaigns, with emphasis on spectroscopy, and advancements in space transportation and autonomous robotic technology are crucial to future success of NEA resource utilization. LA-ICP-MS was used to evaluate main-group pallasites (PMG) for PGE potential. Bulk metal concentrations of most PGEs are lower than in iron meteorites, making the associated parent body(ies) of the PMG suboptimal for resource utilization. Average subsolidus partition coefficients are 1 < DT/K(Ir) < DT/K(Pt) ≈ DT/K(Os) < DT/K(Rh) < DT/K(Ru) < DT/K(Pd) and appear to be applicable to all instances of taenite/kamacite, regardless of parent body conditions.
Innis, Liam R. J., "Near-Earth Asteroid Resources: Review and Analogue Study of Highly Siderophile Elements in Main-Group Pallasites" (2018). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 5852.