A space cage is one idea being considered to extract ice and precious metals from a crumbly asteroid.
Credit: Planetary Resources

New company to join the asteroid gold rush

By Paul Sutherland
21 January 2013

(Sen) - A new space company will announce plans to mine the minor planets at a press conference in Santa Monica, California, tomorrow, 22 January.

Deep Space Industries intends to build a fleet of commercial asteroid-prospecting spacecraft that can harvest and process these chunks of space rock.

Until tomorrow’s event, the company’s founders are keeping a tight lid on further information about their plans to plunder precious resources for profit.

But their targets are likely to be a class of minor planet called Near-Earth Asteroids which have orbits bringing them close to us on their journeys around the Sun.

“We can use asteroid ice to create propellant depots and gas stations in the Solar System that will rapidly reduce the cost of human spaceflight” Eric Anderson, Co-founder of Planetary Resources

These asteroids could provide not only precious metals such as gold, platinum and osmium but ice that could be converted into drinking water for astronauts and rocket fuel.

Read more: New company to join the asteroid gold rush — Sen.

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