Outer space technology and exploration have reached a tipping point so that mining and mineral processing in outer space is now a certainty and not a dream. Several competing companies worldwide are on the way to building spaceships to land on the Moon and eventually mine the Moon and asteroids for volatiles, rare earth metals and Helium-3.
The Google Lunar XPrize offers a $30 million prize1. China has recently landed a spacecraft on the Moon. The European Space Agency, with cooperation from the United States, has landed a spacecraft, Philae, on a comet. And, Mars One is planning a one-way trip to establish a settlement of humans on Mars.