Mining in space, thanks to @GoDeepSpace and @PlanetaryRsrcs
While space tourism is imminent thanks to companies such as @SpaceX and @virgingalactic, mining in space is a newly emerging prospect. Two companies, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources, have been established to mine asteroids.
There are around 10,000 asteroids near Earth which contain a range of resources from water to platinum. Planetary Resources plans to send small exploratory craft to analyse asteroids by 2015 and “harvesters” by 2020. Deep Space Industries (“DSi”) signed an agreement with Virgin Galactic in 2012 and announced discussions with major mining companies. Shareholders in DSi include Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Ross Perot jr, and John Whitehead (former Goldman Sachs Co-Chair).
Resource abundance will be achieved through technological advancements. Improved efficiency, storage, and distribution of solar power could provide unlimited, cheap energy. Greater agricultural productivity may already have led to “peak farmland” (click here to read my blog on this). Mining in space has the potential to unlock almost infinite hard commodities.
Click here to watch a WSJ video in which the Chair of Planetary Resources discusses their plans.