The American company Deep Space Industries announced plans for mineral exploration beyond Earth.
In 2017 the company plans to send into low earth orbit test apparatus Prospector-X for testing, and then to run the apparatus Prospector-1 on an asteroid near the Earth to assess its suitability for development.
Upon arrival to him Prospector-1 will map the surface, will conduct a survey in the visible and infrared ranges, and assess water supplies. Then he tries to get to the asteroid and conduct of geophysical exploration.
Then, according to the plan of the company, the asteroid will be directed Harvestor-X, which is to conduct a trial mining ore. After the mission of this spacecraft to the asteroid headed Harvestor-1, the purpose of which will be the extraction of minerals and shipping them to the Earth.
According to the Executive Director for Deep Space Industries Daniel Faber, commercial resource extraction on asteroids is scheduled to begin in 2020-ies.