Within the next decade, we may witness the world’s first space mining operation. With the renewed interest in space colonization propagated by visionaries such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, Middle Eastern oil states are looking to take part as well. These oil states understand gas will not last forever and hope to diversify their holdings by investing in the ability to power space settlements using water and mined minerals.
With the UAE having already invested more than $5 billion into satellites and infrastructure, it is clear that the Middle East will be a serious participant in the modern space race. However, the end goal for these countries is not exploration but to essentially control water mining and distribution in space. Water is a vital necessity as it can be turned into hydrogen to fuel ships, oxygen for breathing, or used for drinking. Control of this resource would give the oil states an unprecedented amount of power in the new frontier.
If these oil states are able to overcome technological, regulatory, and market barriers and are able to prove a reasonable return on investment, we will see a drastic and exciting increase in the number of businesses moving to space in the coming years.
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