Mining the Heavens: Astronomers Could Spot Asteroid Prospects

By Sarah Lewin, Staff Writer, | June 12, 2017 07:00am ET

NEW YORK — Harvard astrophysicist Martin Elvis would like to see astronomers take on a crucial role for future asteroid mining: as astronomical prospectors scoping out the next big catch.

Elvis discussed his dream for applied astronomy June 4 here at the Dawn of Private Spaceflight Science Symposium. Efficient asteroid mining would jump-start a space economy and bring down costs for exploration and space science, guiding humans into a modern space age, he said.

"My basic goal is just to revolutionize our exploration of the solar system, of the universe," Elvis said at the conference.