Shutterstock As the world tries to cope with the challenges of 2020, discussions around the use of mined resources from outer space continue to ratchet up. On April 6, the US White House released an executive order that Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of […]

Credit: Shutterstock While heads of state bicker over protecting Earth’s most vulnerable places from the ravages of industry, a new study suggests that maybe it’s not too early to start protecting other worlds from human exploitation, too. The study, published April 16 in the journal Acta Astronautica, makes a case for designating 85% […]


Upside down lightning is a seemingly rare weather event. Sometimes lightning doesn’t go down. photograph by Elka Liot and Grégory Moulard Muscapix Everyone loves a lightning show: big bolts of electricity heading to Earth. But there’s an entire display above those billowing masses that you are probably missing. In 2001, […]


PLANETARY RESOURCES THE COMMERCIAL SPACE industry pushes a particular brand of optimism. Its urge to inspire manifests as soaring soundtracks to three-minute mission-promo videos, press releases with words like “humanity,” and slick graphics of spacecraft that don’t exist yet but could any day now. In the particular case of asteroid […]


Prospector-X ABRYAN VERSTEEG/DEEP SPACE INDUSTRIES WHEN MOST PEOPLE think of asteroids, they might think of phrases like “civilization killer.” Or “boring rock.” But other people think “business opportunity.” A growing set of companies, including Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources, want to mine asteroids for all they’re worth. After digging […]