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In primary production, inorganic carbon is used to build the organic molecules life needs. (Shutterstock)

How much life has ever existed on Earth?

Over two billion years from now, Earth will no longer be able to sustain life. A new study looks at how much life has ever existed and what this means for the discovery of new life-supporting planets.
Scientists still debate the origins of Earth’s life-sustaining elements. BlackJack3D/E+ via Getty Images

Earth may have had all the elements needed for life within it all along − contrary to theories that these elements came from meteorites

Scientists analyzing isotope ratios have found that many of the elements that make up life could be left over from Earth’s formation.
Mining an asteroid probably won’t look exactly like mining does on Earth, but some principles will stay the same. posteriori/iStock via Getty Images

NASA’s robotic prospectors are helping scientists understand what asteroids are made of – setting the stage for miners to follow someday

Upcoming NASA missions will help scientists understand the composition of asteroids – which could inform companies one day hoping to commercially mine asteroids.

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