Want a future-proof degree? Head to Colorado for asteroid mining

Are you a high schooler wondering what career to pursue that won’t be gobbled up by robots in the next few years? Are you an engineering grad, economist, physicist, or policy analyst looking to become an expert in a new, but fast-developing discipline? If so, the Colorado School of Mines has the perfect answer for you: You should totally take up space mining.

No, we’re not kidding. While the idea of extracting water, minerals or even metals from an asteroid sounds like the stuff of far-future science-fiction, it’s likely to actually happen in the coming decades — and Colorado School of Mines’ newly launched “Space Resources” course will help you get in on the ground floor.

“Space Resources is an area that includes identifying the resources there are in space, and working out how to collect, extract and utilize them,” Dr. Angel Abbud-Madrid, director of the Center for Space Resources and Research Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, told Digital Trends.

Students on the course can earn post-baccalaureate certificates, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees through the interdisciplinary program. It will cover the responsible exploration, extraction, and use of resources on the moon, Mars, asteroids, and even further afield locations. The courses will include guest speakers from a variety of mining and aerospace companies.

“I would compare this to aviation,” Abbud-Madrid continued. “The first academic programs started just a few years after the Wright brothers [pioneered the first airplanes]. People realized quickly that this was no longer just the field of daredevils and people looking for entertainment; it was going to become very important. The same thing happened with academic aerospace programs shortly after the launch of Sputnik. Even though going to the moon looked far away, there was a realization that this would happen. Universities have to be ahead of the curve so they can start preparing people to enter [new] fields.”

While the first year’s course officially kicked off this week, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year. Could 2019 be the year you start your new career as an asteroid mining student? The decision is in your hands.

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