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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Asteroid Mining

Within five to 10 years, however, the company expects to progress from selling observation platforms in orbit around Earth to prospecting services.

It plans to tap some of the thousands of asteroids that pass relatively close to Earth and extract their raw materials.

A 98-foot asteroid can hold as much as $50 billion worth of platinum (£31 billion) at today's prices, said a company spokesperson.

Not all missions would return precious metals and minerals to Earth. In addition to mining for platinum and other precious metals, the company plans to tap asteroids' water to supply orbiting fuel depots, which could be used by NASA and others for robotic and human space missions.

'We have a long view. We're not expecting this company to be an overnight financial home run. This is going to take time,' Anderson said in an interview with Reuters.

The real payoff, which is decades away, will come from mining asteroids for platinum group metals and rare minerals.

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