Asteroid mining may no longer be the sole province of the awful 1998 film, Armageddon.
A new private space initiative launched Tuesday morning with the goal of mining the riches of the solar system. At a press conference in Santa Monica, California, Deep Space Industries announced their plans to launch a fleet of automated prospecting spacecraft by 2015, and then begin harvesting metals, water, and minerals from near-earth asteroids.
CEO David Gump said in a statement that asteroid mining has vast potential, not just for humanity’s expansion into deep space, but also for industry here on Earth. “More than 900 new asteroids that pass near Earth are discovered every year," he said. "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.”
Watch the press conference at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying here: