There’s gold in them thar asteroids—if only we could find it. Well, and get to it, extract it, and haul it back to Earth. You know, details. But that first part just got easier, thanks to a clever new sensor designed to sniff out gold, platinum, and even diamond inside asteroids.
None of us would be alive today without plants, and if humans want to survive beyond Earth long-term, we’ll need to bring our leafy greens with us. Eventually, astronauts are going to have to become space farmers.
There is gold out there on asteroids. Silver and platinum and titanium, too. And if we’re seriously going to mine asteroids, it might be easier to tow them closer to Earth. But that could be serious trouble for satellites, according to new calculations by astrophysicists.
Many of us dream of living on other planets, but are two things we'll need before it can actually happen: money and raw materials. Now some companies say they have a solution to this problem. They'll mine asteroids for valuable metal ores, and for basic resources like water that we'll need once we're far from Earth.
1999 JU3: It doesn't sound like a very noteworthy name. It's just one of more than 5,000 Apollo-class asteroids. But 1999 JU3 could become a household name if Japan succeeds in mining it—a mission that JAXA has struggled with for decades, often disastrously. And on Sunday, it revealed the probe that could redeem it.