Humanity’s Path to Asteroid Mining: A Vision for the Future – Joel Sercel

  • 53:34

In a recent episode of the Modern Aerospace podcast, host Jeremy Derosier had the opportunity to interview Joel Sercel, the CEO of TransAstra. Their discussion centered around the revolutionary concept of asteroid mining and its potential impact on humanity’s future.

The Vision: Building Worlds in Space

Joel Sercel, a visionary in the field of space technology, believes that the future of humanity lies in becoming an exoplanetary species. He envisions a world where humans can live and thrive in Earth-like environments created in space. The key to achieving this vision is harnessing the vast resources of asteroids and moons within our solar system.

The Need for Asteroid Mining

Humanity’s exponential growth and the desire for a better life for future generations require increased energy consumption and access to resources. Earth’s limited resources will eventually reach their limits, making it crucial for humans to tap into the resources available in space. Asteroids hold the key to unlocking a nearly infinite supply of raw materials that can fuel our growth and expansion.

Key Milestones for Asteroid Mining

To make asteroid mining a reality, several key milestones need to be achieved. Joel Sercel identifies four fundamental problems that must be addressed: detect, move, capture, and process.


Currently, our ability to detect asteroids suitable for mining is limited. Joel emphasizes the need for advanced telescope technology that can efficiently locate and identify potential mining targets. TransAstra has developed breakthrough telescope technology that offers cost-effective solutions for asteroid detection.


Traditional propulsion systems used in space transportation are expensive and time-consuming. To make asteroid mining economically viable, faster and cheaper propulsion systems are required. TransAstra has invented and patented innovative propulsion technologies that offer faster and more affordable ways to maneuver in space.


Capturing asteroids poses unique challenges due to their low gravity and lack of structural integrity. Landing on an asteroid is not feasible, as objects would simply bounce off. TransAstra is developing innovative methods to capture asteroids without the need for direct contact. These methods involve using advanced robotics and technologies to effectively secure and control asteroid resources.


Once asteroids are captured, efficient processing methods are needed to extract and utilize their resources. TransAstra is pioneering advanced manufacturing techniques that can significantly reduce the cost of producing space hardware. By manufacturing components in space, the cost of building spacecraft and satellites can be reduced by orders of magnitude.

The Role of SpaceX

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has played a significant role in accelerating the vision of asteroid mining. With their reusable rocket systems and advancements in space transportation, SpaceX has made access to space more affordable and practical. The reduced cost of space launches and hardware opens up new possibilities for asteroid mining and space industrialization.

A Promising Future

While the economic viability of asteroid mining is still a work in progress, Joel Sercel and TransAstra are at the forefront of making this vision a reality. Their dedication to solving the technical challenges and building practical businesses around asteroid mining is paving the way for a future where humanity can thrive beyond Earth.

In conclusion, the possibilities unlocked by asteroid mining are vast and transformative. Humanity’s journey into space has only just begun, and with the visionaries like Joel Sercel and companies like TransAstra, we are one step closer to building a future among the stars.

To learn more about the topic, listen to the full episode on the Modern Aerospace podcast:
Check the episode on Spotify here

Scroll to top