The asteroid that exploded 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. In a collision with Earth, they could set off deadly blast waves, raging fires and colossal tidal waves. But some audacious entrepreneurs look up at asteroids and see payday, not doomsday. Some asteroids are loaded with billions of dollars' worth of elements like iron, nickel, and platinum. NASA is planning an ambitious mission to return samples from a potentially hazardous asteroid, and would-be asteroid miners are dreaming up their own program to scout for potentially profitable asteroids. Will asteroids turn out to be our economic salvation—or instruments of extinction?
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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Richard Burke-Ward
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY Jonathan Challis
Brian Leckey EDITED BY David Dillon CAMERA Chris Vile
Gary Henoch SOUND RECORDISTS Jim Siler
Seth Lamos NARRATED BY Craig Sechler MUSIC Audio Network ANIMATION Weave PRODUCTION MANAGER Lindsey Truman ONLINE EDITOR Zeb Chadfield AUDIO MIX Nick Machon RESEARCH Susannah Wilkinson ARCHIVAL MATERIAL Artbeats
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Produced by Pioneer Film and Television Productions Limited for NOVA/WGBH.
© 2013 Pioneer Film and Television Productions Limited and WGBH Educational Foundation
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Additional Material © 2013 WGBH Educational Foundation
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This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.
IMAGE (Asteroid) Courtesy Pioneer Films
- Lance Benner, Mark Boslough, Dale Boucher, Peter Brown, Marina Brozovic, Dan Durda, Chris Lewicki, Ed Lu, Catherine Plesko, Peter Schultz, Russell Schweickart, Caroline Smith, John Troeltzsch, Gareth Williams, Donald Yeomans