About This Episode
Will an asteroid hit Earth in 2182? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Chuck Nice learn about asteroid mining, OSIRIS-REx sample-return, and the origins of life with cosmochemist Natalie Starkey.
Discover Bennu, the Earth-crossing asteroid and the samples we have taken from its surface. What are scientists going to learn from this sample return? We discuss the Yarkovsky effect and how we predict the paths of asteroids and comets. Could NASA going to Bennu affect its orbit?
Learn about the Stardust mission to collect particles from the tail of a comet and what we are not expecting to be in the sample of Bennu. Could there be the building blocks for life in the asteroid sample? We discuss planetary protection, protocol for not contaminating the sample, and how asteroids formed.
What are the challenges of working in asteroid microgravity? We explore the escape velocity of an asteroid and whether asteroid mining would be profitable. Who would own the rights to resources on an asteroid? Could asteroids have provided Earth with amino acids? Plus, we discuss how asteroid mining would change our Earth’s economy.
Thanks to our Patrons Konrad Jeleński, Sunny Rajpal, Kwesi collisson, Ellen Taylor, Ted Gould, and Tim Henderson for supporting us this week.
NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can listen to this entire episode commercial-free.