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Scientists Identify 12 Easily Retrievable Asteroids For Potential Mining

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asteroidYou may wonder what good asteroids are if you can’t deftly fly your spacecraft through a field of them to impress a girl and outrun bad guys. But it turns out that asteroids are a great source of precious metals — so great that companies like Planetary Resources have already developed plans to mine asteroids. But before that happens, we have to identify and access the giant space rocks. A team at Scotland’s University of Strathclyde in Glasgow has been doing just that, scouring the skies for asteroids classified as Easily Retrievable Objects, or EROs. A recent report indicates that they’ve found a dozen ERO asteroids that could be mined with today’s rocket technology.

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Space Entrepreneur Predicts A Permanent Mars Colony Within Sixty Years

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There have been some exciting landmarks in space exploration in the past year or so. Private corporations like SpaceX have proven that they’re dead serious about their commitment to pushing space exploration forward in a way many of the major governments haven’t tried in a long time. We’ve had headlines that a few years ago would have read like outright science fiction, from a reality show that wants to give people a one-way trip to Mars, to a plan to mine freakin’ asteroids that includes James Cameron among its supporters. That latter jaw-dropper is under the auspices of the company Planetary Resources, and The Atlantic interviewed PR co-founder Eric Anderson a while back about the coming age of space exploration, expansion, and even colonization.

mars

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Deep Space Industries Reveals Plans To Mine Asteroids In 2015

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The private space exploration industry is booming! We all know the ambition behind space exploration companies like SpaceX, but now another private company called Deep Space Industries (great name!) is looking to expand its business into outer space.

According to The Verge, the company plans to explore and possibly mine asteroids that orbit near our planet. They have a plan to launch an unmanned “FireFly” spacecraft to survey asteroids in 2015. Deep Space Industries also plans to launch a heavier “DragonFly” spacecraft sometime between 2016 and 2020. This later mission will survey and bring back chunks of asteroids for further research.

Not quite as cool as Malcom Reynolds' Firefly, but still...

Not quite as cool as Malcom Reynolds’ Firefly, but still…

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Watch Neil de Grasse Tyson School Jon Stewart On Asteroid Mining While Solving A Rubik’s Cube

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We’ve been talking a lot this week about the plan of a new company called Planetary Resources. Backed by such luminaries as the founders of Google and mega-director James Cameron, they intend to break the bonds of Earths atmosphere in search of profit. They’re mining asteroids.

This sounds pretty awesome, but maybe it’s too good to be true? Jon Stewart asked that very question last night on The Daily Show, and to get a real answer, he brought in astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson for what is apparently going to be a new Daily Show segment called “Bulls*t or No Bullsh*t”.

Here’s the full segment. Neil comes in at the end to serve up some legitimate wisdom…