Exploring the Solar System: Asteroid Mining

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity, learners will imagine the challenges and opportunities of asteroid mining. Learners will draw their own asteroid mining machines, and consider how these devices would extract, process, and return mined materials to Earth. They can also assume roles assigned by the activity's "challenge cards," and imagine what concerns or priorities they might have as a scientist, explorer, lawyer, or engineer. While the technologies necessary for mining materials from asteroids do not yet exist, current missions exploring and studying asteroids may lay the groundwork for future asteroid mining operations. Activity includes a facilitation guide with potential misconceptions, Earth & space science infosheets with NASA connections, table sign, and activity & content training videos. All public-facing materials also available in Spanish.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • Asteroid drawing worksheets
  • Markers
  • Challenge cards
  • Activity and facilitator guides
  • Information sheets (see activity webpage for links)
  • Tips for Leading Hands-on Activities
  • Campo del Cielo meteorite sample (optiona- if you have the physical kit)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
    • Solar System
      • Asteroids and Comets
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation


Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities