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 on February 15th could be worth up to £125 billion. If we could 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 £125 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 £42 billion. If 10 per cent of its mass It could mass which could range from as little as 16,000 tonnes or as much as one million tonnes — is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth — in space as building material — an additional £84 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-pound hauls back to Earth in the coming years. [Network World]