As always, reality doesn’t quite live up to our noble vision of ourselves. In our movies, we imagined we would be sending heroic teams of astronauts to confront asteroids which were threatening the Earth. In real life, it looks like we’re going to destroy those asteroids by mining them to death. A company called Deep Space Industries is planning to send craft into space which will harvest resources from asteroids–for high profit margins, naturally. Once again, capitalism, rather than romantic self-sacrifice, saves the day. Not to say that this isn’t quite cool–the craft can use 3-D printers to produce things right where they are in space, and we are going to be running out of resources on our own planet at some point, so we can use the expansion. We may even be able to take online asteroid mining courses in the future–how’s that for new career retraining possibilities?
Being the progressive that I am though, I gotta throw in my little government plug, just in case someone tries to use this information to prove that private companies are always better at everything. Deep Space is going to be getting help from NASA in locating the asteroids in question, and is very excited about this partnership. So yeah, good old NASA still comes in handy once in a while.