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The Next Big Gold Rush Will Be Mining Asteroids

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The ability to turn a profit in space is on the horizon.

Asteroids are more than high-speed boulders tearing through the universe. They’re also rich in water, iron, and precious metals. Esquire is reporting that some of these asteroids — especially those close to Earth — are estimated to be worth more than $100 trillion, and ambitious investors, including some of the world’s most successful businessmen, have taken notice.

A burgeoning industry to mine asteroids and eventually build entire cities in space is blooming in the wake of the early success of SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Now worth an estimated $15 billion, SpaceX handles NASA’s cargo-resupply missions to the International Space Station, and serves as an inspiration for what industry experts estimate will be “ten thousand” new companies created in the next ten years.

Investors ranging from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Google Cofounder Larry Page are strapping in for the out-of-this-world investment opportunity.