Asteroid mining is probably the future of commerce on Earth. The most important part of the business is that it can bring in so much money that it can change the life of each person on the planet. According to a recent estimate, each person on Earth can own $100 billion if the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter can be reached.
More than one million asteroids are there in the belt between the two planets. Among those, there are around 200 asteroids that are more than 60 miles in diameter. According to NASA, this asteroid belt is worth $700 quintillion. That much of an amount can get $100 billion for everyone on the Earth.
Asteroid mining companies are stretching limits to achieve beyond the usual heights. There are technical difficulties in getting hold of the said belt. NASA plans to get one sample from asteroid Bennu. The sample will weigh around 2kg, and the cost of the mission will be one billion.
Big money is involved in the business, simply because there are possibilities of unimaginable return of investment. Many a country wants to invest in Asteroid mining companies. Luxembourg is investing $27.6 million in a private mining company called Planetary Resources, a startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page.
The startup earlier managed to raise $21.1 million from venture capital funds and private investors like Page. With all the investments put together, the company should be able to launch its first commercial asteroid-prospecting mission. According to President Chris Lewicki, the first mission should take place in 2020.
NASA's missions to bring a sample would require spacecraft and robots among other technologies which do not exist at the moment. Moreover, if such a mission gets unsuccessful, it will risk a huge amount of investment. Meanwhile, near-Earth asteroids seem to be a more convenient option for asteroid mining companies, Business Insider reports.