Deep Space Industries, an asteroid mining company, announced plans this week to launch its Prospector spacecraft on the first ever interplanetary mining mission by 2020.
The Prospector-1 satellite will hitch a ride into low Earth orbit aboard a space shuttle and then use its own thrusters to chase down an asteroid.
Then it will use onboard thrusters, which use water as fuel, to orbit the asteroid and map its surface as it searches for ice that later spacecraft can use as fuel.
The mission plays an integral part in the plan to develop a space travel network in low Earth orbit.
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