Congressional Hearing Slams Feasibility Of Commercial Asteroid Mining

Two congressmen recently introduced the ASTEROIDS Act, which would grant property rights to companies seeking to mine the asteroid belt. Yesterday, the House Space Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill, where expert testimony bluntly told Congress the private sector is not up to the task of mining in space. » 9/11/14 9:40am 9/11/14 9:40am

Can Congress Grant Private Companies The Right To Mine Asteroids?

U.S. companies are eyeing asteroids as the next frontier in lucrative mining ventures. But, they say, their plans are stymied by the vague status of private ownership in space. Earlier this summer, members of Congress introduced a bill to protect property rights for commercial exploitation of asteroids. Is that legal? » 8/14/14 12:00pm 8/14/14 12:00pm

The Tortured History Of Earth's First 500 Million Years

New research suggests the Earth was pummelled by four gigantic asteroids measuring at least 600 miles across in its early days — impacts that would have rebooted the surface, boiled off the oceans, and extinguished any fledgling life. Here's what we now know about the Late Bombardment Era and its affect on our… » 7/31/14 1:15pm 7/31/14 1:15pm

How Brazil Nuts Solved A Mystery About Asteroids

When Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft photographed the asteroid Itokawa in 2005, scientists were puzzled by what they saw: The total volume of boulders strewn about its surface were greater than the volume of the craters they were supposed to have come from. Now physicists have an answer... by studying the movement of nuts. » 7/16/14 7:20am 7/16/14 7:20am

This Ancient Asteroid Strike Was More Insane Than We Realized

Around 3.26 billion years ago — long before the dinosaurs — a massive asteroid measuring nearly 36 miles (58 km) across smashed into the Earth. Geologists have now reconstructed this cataclysmic event, and it was far, far bigger than we thought. Here's how things went down on that fateful day. » 4/10/14 12:00pm 4/10/14 12:00pm