Last year a company backed by James Cameron and Google launched with ambitions to create a space mining industry. That was Planetary Resources, and now a new commercial company called Deep Space Industries wants to do the same thing.
Their idea is ambitious, they plan to launch “FireFly” scouts in 2015 to asteroids to find the prime ones for mining. Then around 2016 they’ll send larger “Dragonfly” craft to actually mine the asteroid. They’ll then use whatever they get from the asteroid for space-based crafts and projects; although in the future the material that comes from asteroids could make it back here to Earth.