NASA's Undersea Mission to Save Us From Asteroids

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Astronaut Mike Gernhardt was deeply disappointed when he found out NASA's lunar missions would be discontinued. "Rather than go off and cry in the corner," however, he became the principal investigator at NEEMO (NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations), which explores survival underwater to prepare for space travel. This short documentary from Motherboard visits the Aquarius Reef Base, where aquanauts are studying what it will be like to work on asteroids. 

Why asteroids? They are full of rare materials that could be mined -- and one is slated to skim dangerously close to Earth on April 13, 2029. "The possibility that Earth will be hit by an asteroid in our lifetime isn’t huge," Alex Pasternack, the video's producer, writes at Motherboard, but "the threat is so potentially catastrophic ... [it's] one of those things that someone should probably be thinking about." Or as Neil deGrasse Tyson puts it, "we're clever enough that we never have to go extinct by an asteroid. We have more choices available to us than tyrannosaurus rex did." 

Read the full story at Motherboard here

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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