The Mary Sue Interviews Planetary Resources Advisor Sara Seager


Photo from MIT Department of Physics

The Mary Sue has posted an interview with Sara Seager, a Professor of Planetary Science at MIA, whose chief research is in exoplanets, and is an adviser with Planetary Resources, the company who plans on mining asteroids, possibly within the next ten years.

Because The Mary Sue has a feminist focus, most of the interview is questions about what it's like to be a woman in her field. Eventually, it gets around to the science, discussing Prof. Seager's work with exoplanets, and detection of exo-atmospheres. When they move on to Planetary Resources, she says the following [author's note: emphasis mine]:
While NASA succeeds with big, complex space science missions ... most of space science would benefit tremendously from cheaper, more frequent launch capability for smaller, more specialised space science missions. A sustainable commercial spaceflight business – one that is not supported by NASA contracts – is required to reduce the costs and increase the launch opportunities. I support any efforts for a self-sustaining spaceflight business.
This is exactly true. And considering the success (so far) of SpaceX's Dragon capsule launch, we're moving in the right direction. Actually, Tuesday's launch is an important moment for Planetary Resources as well, as it is commercial rockets that would be taking PR's equipment into space, and to asteroids, to begin with.

I highly recommend you take the time to read the article.

Via The Mary Sue.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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