The idea of mining nearby asteroids for resources we could use on Earth is fast becoming a possibility — and the asteroid set to buzz Earth on February 15 could be worth up to $US195 billion. If we can catch it.
According to scientists at Deep Space Industries — one of the companies intent on mining asteroids — the passing rock, 2012 DA14, contains enough metals and propellants to make it worth a cool $US195 billion. Micahel Cooney writes:
[A]ccording to DSI experts, if 2012 DA14 contains 5 per cent recoverable water, that alone — in space as rocket fuel — might be worth as much as $US65 billion. If 10 per cent of its mass It could mass which could range from as little as 16,000 tons or as much as one million tons — is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth — in space as building material — an additional $US130 billion.
Sadly, current space mining technology isn't up to catching 2012 DA14 just yet. But that won't be the case for long, and with any luck space miners should be bringing trillion-dollar hauls back to Earth in the coming years. [Network World]