'FireFly' ships could be asteroid mining by 2015

Deep Space Industries has said that it will have prospecting ships mining asteroids near Earth in the very near future.

Deep Space Industries has said that it will have prospecting ships mining asteroids near Earth in the very near future.

Deep Space Industries is daring to dream big. (Screenshot by CNET Australia)

Asteroid mining could be 2013's hot new industry with yet another company making some serious claims about its plans for tapping resources in space.

According to The Verge, Deep Space Industries is claiming that it will have unmanned spacecraft — known as the FireFly, of course — in space looking for viable mining asteroids by 2015, with the heavier DragonFly craft bringing back samples soon after.

Deep Space Industries — known as DSi, so we assume a Nintendo lawsuit is on the cards — is also claiming a patent pending "Microgravity Foundry" — a 3D printing system that uses nickel-charged gas to print metal components in a zero gravity environment.

It's worth noting that, unlike the similar company Planetary Resources, Deep Space Industries doesn't have any high-profile backers such as Larry Page or James Cameron. In fact, DSi will probably require sponsorship and public funding for its missions.

Still, we live in a time where multiple initiatives for space mining on asteroids are underway. For our money, that's much better than a flying car.

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Sci-Tech
About the author

Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.

 

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