Asteroid mining, you say? Indeed!
So, funny thing happened today and by funny, I mean awesome as frak: Larry Page (CEO and co-founder of Google), Eric Schmidt (who used to run Google and is now their chairman), James Cameron, along with others announced today that they were forming a corporation called Planetary Resources with the goal of making a piece of science fiction into science fact - asteroid mining.
The inaugural step, to be achieved in the next 18 to 24 months, would be launching the first in a series of private telescopes that would search for asteroid targets rich in resources. The intention will be to open deep-space exploration to private industry.
Within five to 10 years, however, the company expects to progress from selling observation platforms in orbit around Earth to prospecting services. It plans to tap some of the thousands of asteroids that pass relatively close to Earth and extract their raw materials.