James Cameron to Mine Asteroids

By Dina Ginzburg

As if diving to the ocean’s deepest point wasn’t crazy enough, now James Cameron has his sights set on a new venture: mining in space. Yup, from sea to space in under one year (or whenever he goes.) It isn’t enough that he’s had two movies become the highest grossing films of all time, is it?

Cameron will be teaming up with the two owners of Google to fund a space mission that aims to mine the asteroids in hopes of bringing back minerals like zinc, aluminum, platinum and even gold. Sure, we have all these things on Earth, but we’re starting to have less and less (hence the mission.)

In theory, getting these minerals from space sounds like a good idea because there are tons of asteroids just floating around out there, full of resources that nobody’s using. (At least, we hope no one’s using them!) We wouldn’t have to worry about polluting the Earth with explosions and machine exhaust because the mining would be happening miles and miles away from us.  However, this plan isn’t foolproof.

The first problem is that it’ll be extremely expensive. That’s not really a problem when you’re a super-rich director, but who knows what this mission could cost other participating parties, such as NASA and the American government.

The biggest problem is that while all these minerals may weigh next to nothing in space due to there being no gravity, they’ll be extremely heavy once they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Imagine the heaviest rocket ship ever speeding towards the Earth, gathering more and more weight with every second and slamming into the ground because it can’t stop in time. Yeah… you see the problem.

Regardless, there are some pretty smart scientists already working on this project and, with James Cameron backing the mission, we’re sure money’s no issue. We’re sure this is another crazy conversation that may actually happen!