This illustration depicts Deep Space Industries’ Fuel Processor class spacecraft for asteroid mining.
CREDIT: Deep Space Industries

Asteroid Mining Could Pave Way for Interstellar Flight

by Mike Wall, Senior Writer
Date: 23 January 2013 Time: 07:00 AM ET

Exploiting the many resources of our solar system may enable humanity to venture beyond its confines for the first time, and blaze a trail to other stars.

Building a spaceship that can travel to other star systems on human timescales — over the course of mere decades — will be a challenging and expensive proposition, with costs likely running into the hundreds of billions of dollars. But the economic and technological hurdles won’t be so steep if our species has begun tapping the vast riches locked up in asteroids and other bodies beyond Earth orbit, advocates say.

“A solar-system-wide economy could kickstart research and development of the technologies that will allow us to engage in interstellar flight,” said Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a nonprofit group devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight.

Read more: Asteroid Mining Could Pave Way for Interstellar Flight |

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