NASA is currently developing new ways to create sources of revenue. The new NASA project will involve asteroid mining.
According to NASA there are two companies who have signed contracts with Deep Space and Planetary Resources to help with the asteroid mining project. The two companies are trying to figure out some ways of finding sustainable strategies in order to gather resources from space.
NASA stated that it costs a lot to bring resources from asteroids back to Earth. NASA estimated that the costs will be somewhere between $5000 and $25000.
The new NASA project will also involve tracking down asteroids that are closer to our planet and host minerals, silicate minerals, carbonaceous and ice minerals, and metals. According to NASA, the main goal is to bring these resources to Earth.
Michael Simpson, the executive director of SWF said that:
“Communicating about any future asteroid threat will not be easy. People will need messages they can act on, and they will deserve to know the limitations on what modern science can predict.”
The company Planetary Resources is planning to use medium-sized space telescopes and fund the asteroids. This way the company will have the best potential of making a profit. The company is also planning to build some revenue from the commercialization of the Arkyd 200 0r 300. Planetary Resources also plans to create a depot that will simplify asteroid mining operations.
In the new NASA project Deep Space Industries wants to use the “FireFlies” compact spacecraft, in order to gather the information that Planet Resources is looking for, using their telescopes. Deep Space Industries said that eventually it will use the “Dragonfly” spacecraft in order to capture the asteroids. The “Harvestors” is the name of the spacecraft that will help bring the resources from the asteroids back to Earth.
According to NASA platinum metals and water resources will be the most profitable operations if they will start asteroid mining.
NASA will send the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft to study the Bennu, an asteroid which orbits close to our planet. NASA said that they will try to land the spacecraft on the Bennu asteroid sometime in 2016 in order to gather more information that could help the NASA project of asteroid mining.