11 of 11Image
NASA is already studying asteroids. After traveling 1.7 billion miles over four years, NASA's Dawn spacecraft began in 2011 sending images of the asteroid Vesta back to Earth. This is the first image sent when the probe was about 3,200 miles from the asteroid.
There could be gold in that rock
NASA isn't the only one with an eye on asteroids. Private companies are emerging, such as Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources which is funded by big names such as Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Charles Simonyi, filmmaker James Cameron and Ross Perot Jr. The companies have announced plans to land on nearby asteroids, mine for precious metals, and return them to Earth.