Asteroid Mining Might Just Work—If Only We Can Land on the Dang Things

The Rosetta mission’s Philae lander descended toward the two-and-a-half-mile-wide comet at a human’s walking pace. For seven tense hours, scientists in Darmstadt, Germany monitored its radio signal. They would have no idea whether they’d done everything correctly until after the moment of touchdown. If all went well,…

Swarms of Satellites That Surf the Solar Wind Could Be the Future of Asteroid Mining

Asteroid mining—which may be necessary to get the human species off its only rock—has inched closer to reality over the last few years. Last week, asteroid mining groups joined with scientists at the European Planetary Science Congress 2017 (EPSC2017) hosted in Riga, Latvia, to present some key findings of the current…