FUTURE PRIMATE

Company Plans to Use ‘Firefly’ Spaceships to Mine Asteroids for Minerals

Company Plans to Use ‘Firefly’ Spaceships to Mine Asteroids for Minerals

Robot spacecrafts could harvest and return valuable minerals to earth.

Robot spacecrafts could harvest and return valuable minerals to earth.

A company called Deep Space Industries announced Tuesday that within two years it may start sending spacecraft into the solar system with the goal of harvesting natural resources from asteroids.

[ALSO: European Space Agency Discovers ‘Striking’ Ancient River on Mars]

Known as asteroid mining, the company says the “riches of the solar system offer humanity both unprecedented prosperity and an improved environment.” The company hopes to harvest water, iron, gold, platinum and other minerals.

The company isn’t the first to consider asteroid mining. In April, Google CEO Larry Page and film directed James Cameron announced a plan to begin mining asteroids by the end of the decade. Deep Space Industries, on the other hand, hopes to begin “prospecting” in 2015 and harvesting from asteroids within the next 10 years.

The tiny, 55-pound, unmanned prospecting ships, called “fireflies” would be sent to observe any asteroids that passed near earth, while larger “Dragonflies” would be sent out to bring back asteroid samples. Ultimately, the company plans to send larger robot spacecraft that could harvest and return valuable minerals to earth.

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This entry was published on January 25, 2013 at 5:17 am. It’s filed under Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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