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The idea of mining Mars, the moon, or an asteroid for its mineral or water resources isn't far-fetched. NASA, the ESA, and several commercial enterprises already have missions in various stages of planning - all to test technologies and probe off-planet terrain for resource extraction. But before you go and land your finely-tuned space drill on an asteroid and suck out the water and carbon, you need to test it out here on earth. And before you do that, you need something to stand in for the rocks and soil of these interplanetary bodies. Using existing data from previous missions, a pinch of geology and chemistry, and and whole lot of jerry-rigged pressure cookers, researchers at Deep Space Industries are cooking up these simulants by the bucket full.
Produced by Luke Groskin
Music by Audio Network
Videography and Production Assistance by Brook Eschenroeder
Additional Videos, Stills and Animations by Shutterstock, Brandon Swanson, Deep Space Industries, Brian Versteeg, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kennedy Space Flight Center, Goddard Space Flight, Johnson Space Center, Resource Prospector Mission , JAXA Hayabusa Mission, European Space Agency
Special Thanks to Philip Metzger, Danielle Dana and Ariel Zych