|Characterizing an asteroid’s value and preparing for mining operations|
(image copyright: Planetary Reources)
Anyway, I'm not going to rant on about this too much, except to say that I'm pretty excited and hopeful about this project. We are now getting to a situation where private billionaire investors are starting to embarrass some (though not all) of the current efforts by the big space agencies (NASA, ESA and Roscosmos). Here are some more links about this whole story:
http://www.planetaryresources.com/ - official website of the venture, called "Planetary Resources"
Phil Plait's (aka The Bad Astronomer) take on the announcement.
Forum discussion by the space enthusiast community over at NasaSpaceFlight.com.