It seems that we are getting closer to interacting fully with what was called the Final Frontier in the opening minutes of Star Trek and mining companies will have an important role in the voyage.
The idea of mining in space, while still in the dreaming stage, is much closer to becoming a reality thanks to some forward think and big-time investing and the backing of NASA.
Two firms are planning prospecting missions to passing asteroids within the next few years, Reuters reported.
While the idea of bringing ore back to earth is still a daunting one, the new ventures are focusing on using space minerals in interplanetary "gas stations" or to build, support and fuel colonies on Mars.
"We are dreamers," declares the web site of Deep Space Industries (DSI). But what the U.S.-based start-up firm calls the first small steps in a "long play" to develop the resources of space are about to happen. The key will be water.
Check out the full Reuters report here.