The US company Planetary Resources announced that it will combine space exploration with mining of natural resources of asteroids, aiming to generate trillions of Dollars and promote material welfare of mankind. 
The feasibility study of an affluent society 
The Keck Institute for Space Studies published in early April 2012, in cooperation with the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory a feasibility study to identify, robotically capture, and return an entire Near-Earth Asteroid to the vicinity of the Earth by the middle of the next decade. The study concluded that it is possible to return a 500 tons asteroid to high lunar orbit by around 2025 and exploit there.
The project is being backed by Google-head Larry Page und Hollywood-film director James Cameron. The point of view of these VIPs, of the NASA and and of the technology institutes of the US think tank is utmost morbid.
Dreamers, stay on earth
Launching space vehicles produce enormous quantities of pollution of the atmosphere. It increases the amount of space scrap. It benefits only a limited part of humanity. Instead of exploiting extraterrestrial resources, the United States should stay on earth and develop solar and wind energy and modernise its antiquated infrastructure of the national electric grid.
The think tank should turn to see how to reduce the dependence on fossil energy and nuclear energy and how to build a global electrical grid. This would reduce impact of climate change. It would generate jobs and promote the global cooperation between all countries, such as propose by the Desert Energy Project .
The benefits of this sustainable development world power solution are described by Geni :
- Decreased pollution from fossil and nuclear fuels
- Reduced hunger and poverty in developing nations
- Increased trade, cooperation and world peace
- Enables health care, communications and access to clean water
- Stabilized population growth
Humanity should improve environmental protection and try to produce food for all. Unfortunately the United States do not learn the lesson. The US keeps leadership in the exploition of natural resources. It leads the emission of greenhouse gases and industrial toxic wastes.
 A Quixotic Quest to Mine Asteroids. The Wall Street Journal. 20 Apr 2012.
 Asteroid Retrieval Feasibility Study. Keck Institute for Space Studies, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 2 April 2012.
 The Global Hydrogen initiative. Desert Energy Project.
 GENI - Linking Renewable Energy Resources Around the World