Neodymium is critical to making the wheels of a Tesla spin or creating sound in Apple’s Airpods, and China dominates the mining and processing of this rare-earth mineral. So the U.S. and its allies are building their own supply chain. Photo illustration: Clément Bürge/WSJ
Mining on asteroids sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but it could soon become a reality. Nations and powerful corporations already have plans for such ventures and are hard at work staking their claim to resources from space. How can economic growth continue unfettered once all the earth’s resources have been consumed?
Major companies and governments have long been working on plans to exploit the resources to be found in the vastness of space. How far are humans from achieving this? This documentary examines the technological requirements of space mining. It also assesses how great the desire is to find new sources of raw materials. The film touches on scientific and fundamental societal issues – including humanity’s craving for new territories and our degradation of the Earth as we attempt to exploit all our planet has to offer.
Mining companies and governments will soon be allowed to extract minerals from the deep-ocean floor. These rare metals are vital for a more environmentally sustainable future on land, but at what cost to the health of the ocean?