Planetary Resources has great plans to mine asteroids for both precious metals and water and we are not surprised that filmmaker James Cameron is getting involved. The group of celestial miners include engineers, former NASA astronauts and other techies. They plan to send unmanned spacecrafts with telescopes to start. Smaller ones can be dragged closer to earth and robot miners will be dispatched to the larger ones.
While this will undoubtedly be a pricey project, Planetary plans to make some of that telescope observation time accessible to the little people. Another plus is helping to save Earth's environment and if we go in search of asteroids, there should be a lot less odds of them damaging us. The first phase involves sending an Arkyd Series 100 Leo space telescope up within the next two years for observation. Mining may be reachable within the next decade.