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NASA and private firms exploring future asteroid mining in space

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has contracted private firms to explore the possibility of asteroid mining to provide precious spaceship fuel and water, according to a Nov. 25 TechTimes news report.

Materials such as titanium, iron, nickel and more can be extracted from the asteroids for the construction of spacecraft. Water can be used to support life in space for astronauts and fuel can keep spaceship running.

The two private firms, Planetary Resources Inc. and Deep Space Industries, have a good background in asteroid tracking and space research. Planetary Resources is said to be working on a number of satellites that can be used for tracking and analyzing asteroids. The company initially plans to focus on Planetary Resources is said to be working on a number of satellites that can be used for tracking and analyzing asteroids.

The TechTimes reported that Planetary Resources initially plans to focus on near-Earth objects (NEOs) and believes that asteroids will become important for the development of a space economy. The company’s website suggests that “asteroid mining will allow humanity to become a flourishing multi-planetary species, and believes that asteroids will become important for the development of a space economy.” The company’s website suggests that asteroid mining will allow humanity to become a flourishing multi-planetary species.

Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, Tucson, principal investigator for NASAs OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, revealed to the TechTimes that it costs a lot of money to send water from the Earth to spaceships. If water is made available in space, the setup may reduce costs. The OSIRIS-Rex mission will launch in September 2016 and will reach the Bennu asteroid in October 2018 to collect samples.

Some experts believe that these companies are wasting time and resources for exploring the possibility of asteroid mining.