Students will learn about rare minerals, how to stay safe in cold vacuum of space
By Jake Wray, News Editor
January 9, 2088
Douglas College will offer a new asteroid mining program this fall semester, according to a press release issued by the college this past week.
Asteroid mining is a competitive new profession, according to the press release, and Douglas College is dedicated to training anyone who wants to work in space
“We’re very excited to add this program to our lineup. It will nicely complement our extraterrestrial colonization, deep space exploration, and lunar politics programs,” Arvin Singh, chair of the spacefaring department, said in the press release. “The asteroid mining qualification will provide our students with the job-ready skills required of asteroid miners.”
The program will feature chemistry and geology courses, one of which will focus on materials and chemicals that are not found naturally on Earth, including iridium, kamacite, and taenite, as well as materials that used to be found naturally on Earth but are now depleted, such as helium, tellurium, neodymium, and dysprosium.
Additionally, students will learn how to operate mining equipment, including space excavators, space drills, space haul trucks, death lasers, space dynamite, and demoleculizers.
The program will also include courses on space safety, including a two-part, six-credit course on what to do if you get sucked into a black hole, a course on giant parasitic asteroid worms, and a course on emergency space suit repair.
Asteroid miners have an 83 per cent chance of dying on the job, according to a report released by Statistics Canada August 29.
Ron Weeb, a second-year dust farming student at Douglas College, said he is considering switching his major to asteroid mining.
“I chose dust farming because that’s what my dad does, but there’s no money in it anymore,” Weeb said in an interview with the Other Press. “I got nine kids. At the end of the day, all that matters to me is putting food on the table, and asteroid miners make a lot of money.”
Tamara Mbebo, an asteroid miner who grew up in New Westminster but now lives on Luna, said she doesn’t believe a college education is necessary for asteroid miners.
“A chimpanzee could do it,” she said in a VidLink interview with the Other Press. “You basically just float there and smash, scrape, or blast the rock.”
Bernard Bae, a geneticist at UBC, said chimpanzees currently lack the intelligence necessary to be an asteroid miner, but he recently invented a genetic engineering method that can boost a chimp’s intelligence.