The idea of mining in space surely can’t be anything more than a massive tax dodge by the richest people on the planet, but… a second space mining company has announced plans to mine asteroids for valuable minerals. It’s really going to happen.
The latest plan, from a company going under the lovely name of Deep Space Industries, involves sending out small initial probes on one-way missions to hunt for likely targets. These cheap mini probes, which the company is calling Fireflies, would be made from off-the-shelf parts, piggybacking rides alongside commercial satellite launches to further cut costs.
Once these mini probes have found a likely asteroid laden with gold, frankincense and space diamonds, larger probes known as “Dragonflies” would be sent off on round trips to return with samples. Then god knows what happens. Robots with shovels. It’ll be very difficult whatever it is.