Prospective space miners say that Asteroid 2012 DA14, set to make an historically close pass by Earth this Friday, could be worth $195 billion in valuable minerals and metals. If we could catch it, that is.
According to officials at Deep Space Industries, a privately held company looking to mine asteroids, the 150-foot wide space rock could contain billions of dollars worth of recoverable water, iron, nickel and other metals.
Deep Space doesn't have the technology to catch this particular asteroid, which will miss Earth by 17,200 miles, but celestial miners are hopeful about the future.
"While this week's visitor isn't going the right way for us to harvest it, there will be others that are, and we want to be ready when they arrive," Rick Tumlinson, Deep Space Industries chairman, said in a statement.
The formation of Deep Space Industries (DSI) was formally announced just last month. According to Time, the company plans to have a fleet of mining spacecraft by 2016. A similar group, Planetary Resources was formed in April 2012 with the help of several famous investors -- like Google founders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.