Could space mining spark a gold rush in the cosmos?

04/25/2012 | Popular Science

A mining startup, co-founded by the creator of the X-Prize Foundation, a former NASA flight director and a space tourism pioneer, is looking to strike it rich miles above the surface of the Earth by tapping near-earth asteroids for precious metals and water. Planetary Resources -- which is designing its own spacecraft to do the job -- says NEA mining could generate tens of billions of dollars a year, noting a single 1,600-foot diameter asteroid could potentially reap more platinum group metals than have ever been mined on Earth.

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