Here’s how asteroid mining will transform the world

Asteroid mining sounds fantastically futuristic, but it is almost feasible with existing technology.

We have already landed spacecraft on asteroids and taken samples.

Now all of that “simply” needs to be done at a much larger scale mining a well-scouted space rock.

The payoff for humanity will be astronomical.
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Water found in samples from the surface of an asteroid

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The Japanese space probe Hayabusa completed a sample return mission from the asteroid Itokawa.

(CNN) — Scientists have made the first measurements of water in samples collected from the surface of an asteroid, according to a new study.

The Japanese space probe Hayabusa completed a sample return mission from the asteroid Itokawa, retrieving 1,500 particles. Another mission, Hayabusa2, is conducting a sample return mission on the asteroid Ryugu.

A study detailing the analysis of five of the particles from the asteroid samples was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. The samples were collected from an area on Itokawa known as the Muses Sea, which is smooth and dusty.

“We found the samples we examined were enriched in water compared to the average for inner solar system objects,” said Ziliang Jin, lead study author and postdoctoral scholar in Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, in a statement.

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Japan just bombed an asteroid in our solar system, for science

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Japan’s space agency said it successfully dropped a small bomb on an asteroid on Friday as part of its mission to better understand the history of the Solar System.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said its Hayabusa2 spacecraft detonated the copper explosive, also known as the Small Carry-on Inspector (SCI), on the Ryugu asteroid on Friday.

The SCI weighs about 2 kg (4.4 lbs) and is the size of a baseball, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Hayabusa2 released the SCI about 500 meters (1,640 feet) above Ryugu’s surface around 11:13 am Japanese time (02:13 UTC) on Friday, JAXA tweeted.

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Want a future-proof degree? Head to Colorado for asteroid mining

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Are you a high schooler wondering what career to pursue that won’t be gobbled up by robots in the next few years? Are you an engineering grad, economist, physicist, or policy analyst looking to become an expert in a new, but fast-developing discipline? If so, the Colorado School of Mines has the perfect answer for you: You should totally take up space mining.

No, we’re not kidding. While the idea of extracting water, minerals or even metals from an asteroid sounds like the stuff of far-future science-fiction, it’s likely to actually happen in the coming decades — and Colorado School of Mines’ newly launched “Space Resources” course will help you get in on the ground floor.

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