Private Companies Begin Mining Asteroids

by Noah Glyn

From the Economist:


IT ISN’T a gold rush quite yet. But the launch of a second asteroid-mining venture in a year suggests that the allure of extraterrestrial prospecting may be as hard to resist for some as the Klondike was. On January 22nd a start-up called Deep Space Industries entered the fray. It joins Planetary Resources, a firm backed by Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google, which launched last year and promises to have its first asteroid-hunting spacecraft in orbit by late 2014.

The potential bonanza is, well, astronomical. A single 500-metre metal-rich asteroid might contain the equivalent of all the platinum-group metals mined to date. Icy bodies could provide water to sustain astronauts or be processed into rocket fuel for future missions to Mars.

In lieu of Kevin’s piece on the homepage, I’m waiting until OmniCorp™ starts sending missions to outer space to mine asteroids before they hit earth. Now, that would be something. 

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