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A Tiny, Water-Powered Spacecraft Could Be The First To Mine Asteroids

A few months back, Luxembourg — a tiny country better known for world-class pastries — announced its intention to become a leader in asteroid mining. Now, Luxembourg has revealed the first step in its plan to fill the banking vaults with space-grade platinum: a small, water-powered spacecraft.

A Mysterious Object From Earth's Distant Past Has Returned

A first-of-its-kind space rock filled with pristine material from the formation of the Earth itself has returned to the inner solar system, after billions of years in the cosmic boondocks. And it could help us piece together our planet’s origin story.

Something Just Slammed Into Jupiter

Astronomers have captured video evidence of a collision between Jupiter and a small celestial object, likely a comet or asteroid. Though it looks like a small blip of light, the resulting explosion was unusually powerful.

Asteroid Hunters Around The World Just Spotted Something Incredible

If an asteroid were closing in on our planet, we’d know about it quickly thanks to a dedicated network of astronomers. But this week, the Near Earth Object Coordination Center (NEOCC) had its eyes fixed on something else: two Mars-bound spacecraft attempting to escape Earth’s gravity well. And they did a bang-up job capturing the event in real-time.

Scientists Will Finally Drill Into The Dinosaur-Killing Impact Crater In Mexico

Sixty-six million years ago, planet Earth had a bad day when a 10km-wide asteroid smashed into the Yucatán Peninsula, triggering a series of events that killed off the dinosaurs. Later this month, a scientific expedition will drill into the heart of Chicxulub crater for the very first time, seeking to learn more about the nature of that disaster.

Luxembourg Wants To Be A Global Leader In Asteroid Mining

It’s home to just a half-million people, but Luxembourg is not thinking small when it comes to the future. Earlier today, this tiny European nation announced its intentions to back commercial asteroid-mining ventures, and in so doing, is positioning itself as an international leader in this promising area.

NASA Catches A Glimpse Of The Christmas Eve Asteroid

‘Tis the night before Christmas, and Asteroid 2003 SD220 is making its closest approach to Earth. NASA managed to snap a few pics of this pickle-shaped asteroid, which the space agency says poses no threat to our planet whatsoever.

A Large Asteroid Will Zoom Past Earth On Christmas

Fresh off the heels of Spooky the Halloween Asteroid comes news of yet another celestial object coming to pay us a visit during an important calendar event. But have no fear, this space rock won’t be the Grinch that annihilated Christmas.

American Asteroid Mining Is Now Fully Legal

No one has managed to pluck valuable minerals from an asteroid quite yet, but when they do, the legal framework will be firmly in place: earlier today, President Obama signed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) into law.

Watch Neil De Grasse Tyson On The Science Of The Good Dinosaur

Video: Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur hits cinemas on Boxing Day. And who better than Neil de Grasse Tyson to indulge in a bit of playful speculation about the film’s premise: what if the K-T asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had missed Earth?

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