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Startup company announces asteroid mining plans
Posted: Wed, Jan 23, 2013, 7:02 AM ET (1202 GMT)
Deep Space Industries Firefly spacecraft (DSI) For the second time in less than a year, a company has announced plans to develop a fleet of spacecraft to prospect and eventually extract resources from near Earth asteroids. Deep Space Industries unveiled its plans Tuesday to eventually mine asteroids for volatiles and precious metals for a variety of applications. The company is planning to develop a series of spacecraft that will first visit asteroids to study their composition, followed by missions to retrieve samples for return to Earth; these would be followed by more advanced mining efforts. The initial spacecraft would be ready for launch as early as 2015, although the company is still in the early stages of lining up investors. The announcement by Deep Space Industries comes nine months after another startup, Planetary Resources, announced plans to also develop spacecraft to study and visit near Earth asteroids, also with the long-term goal of mining them.
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