Thu, 21 March 2019
Vacuuming potato-size nodules of valuable metals in the deep-sea, and an expedition to an asteroid 180 million miles away
Pirate’s gold may not be that far off, as there are valuable metals embedded in potato-size nodules thousands of meters down in the depths of the ocean. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about the first deep-sea test of a bus-size machine designed to scoop up these nodules, and its potential impact on the surrounding ecosystem.
In an expedition well above sea level, the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Ryugu last month. And although the craft won’t return to Earth until 2020, researchers have learned a lot about Ryugu in the meantime. Meagan speaks with Seiji Sugita, a professor at the University of Tokyo and the principal investigator of the Optical Navigation Camera of Hayabusa 2, about Ryugu’s parent body, and how this study can better inform future asteroid missions.
This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.
[Image: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Authors: Meagan Cantwell, Paul Voosen