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Is NASA Mining Asteroids? We Asked a NASA Scientist: Episode 41

Is NASA mining asteroids?

No, NASA is not mining asteroids. The technologies for mining asteroids are not well developed. We actually can’t really mine asteroids yet, although many people are working on it — private sector, people outside of NASA. What NASA is doing is fundamental science research missions that go out to asteroids to try to understand more about them. And they will help any eventual future efforts to mine asteroids.

And our NASA Psyche mission is an example of one of these missions. We are going to visit an asteroid that we think is made largely of metal. But from those pure science missions comes the information that maybe in the distant future humans will be able to mine asteroids and save some of the resources on Earth.

So is NASA’s mining asteroids? No, but NASA is doing the fundamental science of sending missions to asteroids to understand what they’re made of.


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