Planetary Resources Inc. mechanical engineer Peter Illsley puts finishing touches on a full-size prototype model of a low-orbit spacecraft before a news conference announcing a plan to mine nearby ... more 
Planetary Resources Inc. mechanical engineer Peter Illsley puts finishing touches on a full-size prototype model of a low-orbit spacecraft before a news conference announcing a plan to mine nearby asteroids Tuesday, April 24, 2012, in Seattle. The mega-million dollar plan is to use commercially built robotic ships to squeeze rocket fuel and valuable minerals like platinum and gold out of the lifeless rocks that routinely whiz by Earth. One of the company founders predicts they could have their version of a space-based gas station up and running by 2020. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) less 
1 / 10
Associated Press | Photo By Elaine Thompson
Tue, Apr 24, 2012 9:06 PM EDT