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All across Earth, companies mine for metals, minerals, and other precious resources. Now, a new company has announced plans to mine for valuable materials beyond this planet. The company, Planetary Resources, is developing robotic spacecraft that would hunt for and mine asteroids—rocky objects in space. The spacecraft would try to gather water and metals. Millions of asteroids exist, and nearly 9,000 of them are near the Earth. Of those, more than 1,500 are as easy for us to reach as the moon because they have Earth-like orbits and small gravity fields.

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