Could your mining career take you into space one day?

Could Your Mining Career Take You Into Space One Day?


Looking for a job that is out of this world? Your career in mining can be that. Literally.

Have you heard about the mining jobs…in space?

As our population continues to grow, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to find a sustainable supply of natural resources to fuel prosperity on earth and exploration in space.

More and more asteroids are discovered near earth all the time, which just might be the golden ticket to the start of space mining as they provide a nearly infinite supply of precious resources.

One water-rich asteroid, for example, could produce enough fuel for every rocket that has ever been launched. One platinum-rich asteroid could contain more platinum group metals than what’s been mined on earth throughout all of history!

Platinum group metals reduce the cost of electronics, create electric transportation and drive us toward a greener earth. Therefore, continuing to discover platinum is essential for humanity’s growth and overall well-being.

A brand new start-up space mining company called Planetary Resources, founded by Google executives and the one and only James Cameron, recently partnered with with sub-orbital spaceflight airline Virgin Galactic in the quest to explore asteroids for minerals and increase the access between Earth and deep space.

However, acquiring and processing materials from space objects obviously presents some unique challenges. For example, the micro-gravity environment requires new tools and strategies for extracting, transporting and processing materials. Not only that, but there is the legal issue of who owns which asteroids and other celestial bodies.

But the fact remains that mining in space is, more than ever, possible and necessary. What does this mean for you? Job opportunities! Well, one day, anyway.

While it may be some time before students and recent grads like you will be actually going up into space to work at mining operations on asteroids, forward-thinking space mining companies will need smart, passionate people to help them get those rockets firing.

Planetary Resources, based near Seattle, Washington, opened applications for interns for the first time in October. Internships are not the only opportunities being offered, though: the asteroid mining company has other job listings on their website, including one for a “General Space Nut.”

And it looks like you’ll need to be able to think way out of the box (and atmosphere) to get a job in this industry one day. Check out these unique application and interview questions Planetary Resources has on their careers page:

  • Are you a space nut? Prove it!
  • Do you know how to create an interplanetary spacecraft trajectory to a celestial target?
  • What name would you give a crash test dummy, and why?
  • Paste a link to a picture that best describes you, but is not OF you.
  • If you were asked to give a 20 minute presentation on a subject for which you consider yourself an expert, what would be the topic of the presentation?

Your mom always told you to follow your dreams and shoot for the moon. Now you can make your career out of doing just that.

If you had the opportunity, would you want to work in space? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Mining Week - student and entry level jobs in mining from companies like Vale, Goldcorp, Barrick and BHP Billiton

Photo credit: Suzan Marie

About the author

Leah Ruehlicke works in video production, living in a tiny apartment in Toronto with bad water pressure and an amazing book collection. Follow her on @LeahRuehlicke.