Most people in the U.S. woke up to a spectacular sight this morning: videos from Russian dashboard cameras showing a fireball in the sky crashing down to the Earth, reports Wired Science. “The 15-meter meteorite impacted the atmosphere and exploded above the Chelyabinsk region of central Russia, injuring an estimated 1,200 people and causing roughly 1 billion rubles ($33 million U.S.) in damage. It was the largest meteorite to hit the country in more than a century.
“It’s hard to know what’s stranger about the event. That a substantial meteorite hit the Earth on the same day as a 50-meter asteroid is making a record-breaking (and completely safe) close pass, that people have been thinking more and more about how to deflect potentially killer space rocks, or that we live in a day and age when dozens of videos of a fairly rare event can be uploaded to the internet and instantly seen worldwide. Continue reading “Death by asteroid”
No, this isn’t a joke. A group of billionaires are going to launch a fleet of starships to mine asteroids. Then still in space they will make what they mine into stuff using 3-D printers. As Wired Science tell the story:
“Last year was thick with audacious private spaceflight company unveilings, including the announcement from Planetary Resources, Inc. of their plans to mine relatively valuable platinum group metals from asteroids. With the formation of Deep Space Industries, it seems that 2013 could see a new crop of private space companies with lofty goals.
“We are about prospecting, exploring, harvesting, extracting, and manufacturing based on the resources of space,” said Rick Tumlinson, founder and chairman of DSI, during a press conference on Jan. 22. Tumlinson has been an ardent space advocate for many years, helping foundMirCorp, which brought space tourist Dennis Tito to the International Space Station. Continue reading “Let the asteroid mining begin”