Watch PBS NOVA's "Asteroid—Doomsday or Payday?"

Nov 22, 2013 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
An asteroid, docile in space but deadly to Earth. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Last night, the US PBS television stations aired a new show from the series NOVA, "Asteroid—Doomsday or Payday." It portrayed the two sides of asteroids: if a large asteroid collides with Earth, it could set off deadly blast waves, raging fires and colossal tidal waves. But on the other hand, some asteroids are loaded with billions of dollars' worth of elements like iron, nickel, and platinum, and companies like Planetary Resources are trying to figure out how to take advantage of those elusive resources in space.

You can watch the entire episode below. As with previous shows, viewers in other countries might have difficulty watching the show.

For additional reading, here's a great article by PBS's NOVANext about why more isn't being done about detection and deflection.

Planetary Resources has some info about why mining asteroids will fuel human expansion into the cosmos (read here)—watch their video, below:

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: Twin fools NASA at brother's launch on one-year flight

Related Stories

Asteroids' close encounters with Mars

Nov 19, 2013

For nearly as long as astronomers have been able to observe asteroids, a question has gone unanswered: Why do the surfaces of most asteroids appear redder than meteorites—the remnants of asteroids that ...

Recommended for you

Cassini: Return to Rhea

11 hours ago

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015.

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

19 hours ago

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

22 hours ago

The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data, following the successful ...

What drives the solar cycle?

22 hours ago

You can be thankful that we bask in the glow of a relatively placid star. Currently about halfway along its 10 billion year career on the Main Sequence, our sun fuses hydrogen into helium in a battle against ...

MESSENGER completes 4,000th orbit of Mercury

22 hours ago

On March 25, the MESSENGER spacecraft completed its 4,000th orbit of Mercury, and the lowest point in its orbit continues to move closer to the planet than ever before. The orbital phase of the MESSENGER ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.