"A single platinum-rich asteroid 90 feet in diameter could be worth as much as $50 billion."

Space now open for commercial exploration


Thu, Dec 3rd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

While planets are still off-limits to be claimed, the recent passage of the Space Act of 2015 allows commercial entities to "mine and make use of materials from asteroids and other off-planet sources." Getting there may involve such vehicles as the Skylon Space Plane.

It’s been estimated that a single platinum-rich asteroid 90 feet in diameter could be worth as much as $50 billion. Though these are still early days, there’s considerable speculation that space mining could eventually become a multi-trillion dollar industry. While many of the key players have been hesitant to publicly state specific timetables, some indications have been given for when active space mining might be expected. A recent study sponsored by the Keck Institute for Space Studies determined that a 500 metric ton asteroid could be captured and delivered to high lunar orbit where it would be mined for resources by 2025. That study was co-authored by two members of the asteroid mining operation, Planetary Resources. Another space venture, Deep Space Industries (DSI) has said it is planning to use materials made from mined asteroids, including fuel, water, metals and alloys, for in-space manufacture by the 2020s. Currently, a number of these companies are in the process of testing equipment on earth and in orbit, as well as surveying, identifying and analyzing prospective target asteroids.



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