A private company named Deep Space Industries unveiled plans on Tuesday to mine near-earth asteroids for energy. The firm hopes that the technology will eventually be able to provide energy to fuel self-sufficient space stations, and plans to begin mining as early as 2015.
Unmanned ships will be constructed that will be able grab hold of asteroids as the fly past the earth, and then mine them for precious metals such as platinum.
“More than 900 new asteroids that pass near Earth are discovered every year,” said Deep Space CEO David Gump in a statement published on Space.com. “They can be like the Iron Range of Minnesota was for the Detroit car industry last century — a key resource located near where it was needed. In this case, metals and fuel from asteroids can expand the in-space industries of this century. That is our strategy.”