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Asteroid mining the new frontier of space exploration

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article image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
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Planetary Resources Inc recently revealed that plans for asteroid mining could be a possibility. With plans to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) for water and precious metals, it will certainly deliver multiple benefits to humanity and tap into a whole new sustainable resource.

Asteroids consist of high concentration of precious metals that will provide a sustainable supply to the growing population of Earth.

"Water is perhaps the most valuable resource in space. Accessing a water-rich asteroid will greatly enable the large-scale exploration of the solar system. In addition to supporting life, water will also be separated into oxygen and hydrogen for breathable air and rocket propellant," said Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc. in a multi-media news release and a webinar hosted last month.

Developments in cost effective exploration technology will make this possible – and this is only the beginning.

This development could be the gateway to endless possibilities and the answer to the future survival of human kind. According to Planetary Resources Inc, NEA’s are water-rich and will serve as a stepping stone for deep space exploration, which will hopefully provide space-sourced fuel and water to orbiting depots. Accessing water resources in space will also revolutionise space exploration and make space travel more economical and accessible to future generations.

"Our mission is not only to expand the world’s resource base, but we want to increase people’s access to, and understanding of, our planet and solar system by developing capable and cost-efficient systems," says Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer.

Should this plan go ahead, it will open up opportunities for the mining industry, travel and tourism. For some, it could mean a serious career change.

Planetary Resources Inc says it has "immediate needs" in the various areas including guidance, navigation and control, flight and ground software, and optical and laser systems.

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