“We’re working with the US government to define regulations that allow commercial exploitation of asteroids. Unlike oil reserves or even the oceans, which are limited, resources in space are infinite. . . . Asteroids called carbonaceous chondrites, also known as dirty iceballs, are up to 20 percent water. You can use solar energy to break up water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which is rocket fuel, so you can create filling stations for deep space operations or oxygen and water for human consumption. Launching water beyond Earth orbit costs $20,000 per kilogram using the lowest-cost launch vehicle, so you save a lot by mining it in space. We’ll also be looking for what I call strategic metals. Another category of asteriod is rich in platinum-group metals such as palladium and osmium, which are used in medical devices, computer hard disks, LCD screens, and other electronics. They’re rare on Earth, but not in space.”
–Ted Greenwald. “The X Man.” Interview of Peter Diamandis. Wired July 2012: 88-96. Quote on page 96.