Nova: Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday?

Nova: Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday?

Wednesday, November 20 at 9:00 p.m.

Could asteroids be our economic salvation — or instruments of extinction?

The asteroid that exploded in the skies over Siberia injuring more than 1,000 and damaging buildings in six cities was a shocking reminder that Earth is a target in a cosmic shooting range. From the width of a football field to the size of a small city, these space rocks have the potential to be killers.

But some audacious entrepreneurs look at asteroids and see payday, not doomsday. Some asteroids are loaded with billions of dollars’ worth elements like iron, nickel and even platinum. While NASA plans an ambitious mission to return samples from a potentially hazardous asteroid, would-be asteroid miners are dreaming up their own program to scout for poten¬tially profitable asteroids.