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Asteroid Mining Begins As International Space Station Deploys First Spacecraft

23/07/2015 18:07 BST | Updated 23/07/2015 18:59 BST

One of the things humans are good at is finding ways to make money and we've now come up with a way of turning our beloved solar system into a bank, using asteroids as the currency.

A small private company has launched a spacecraft from the International Space Station to test out the scope of mining asteroids.

The Arkyd 3 Reflight spacecraft, which has been built by Planetary Resources, embarked on a 90-day mission to explore what type of software and avionics it would take to tap into these rocks laden with riches.

On Sunday, an asteroid worth £3 trillion flew past and was reportedly carrying a treasure trove of precious metals.

Astronomer Bob Berman told The International Business Times: "What makes this unusual is the large amount of platinum believed to be lurking in the body of this space visitor.”

Arkyd 3 Reflight reached its destination thanks to Space X's Dragon spacecraft.

It will be the first of many test flights that Planetary Resources is planning to send to the skies in the hopes of making planet earth richer.

"Our philosophy is to test often, and if possible, to test in space," said Chris Lewicki, president and chief engineer at Planetary Resources.

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