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

November 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:

The video will load shortly

Explore further: NASA, planetary resources sign agreement to crowdsource asteroid detection

Related Stories

Asteroids' close encounters with Mars

November 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 have crashed to Earth?

Recommended for you

Video: A colorful 'landing' on Pluto

January 20, 2017

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip ...

Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simulate Mars in dome

January 20, 2017

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods—with a rare treat of Spam—and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.

Image: Wavemaker moon Daphnis

January 20, 2017

The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small ...

The evolution of massive galaxy clusters

January 20, 2017

Galaxy clusters have long been recognized as important laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. The advent of the new generation of millimeter and submillimeter wave survey telescopes, like the South ...

Astronomers search for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

January 19, 2017

Is there anybody out there? The question of whether Earthlings are alone in the universe has puzzled everyone from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. It's also the driving force behind San Francisco ...

0 comments

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.