Proposed asteroid mining Planetary Resources has already received thousands of job applications only weeks after announcing its space mining plan.
The company officially launched in April with plans that it will look for ways to extract raw materials from non-Earth sources," describing itself as "commercial space pioneers".
Since then Planetary Resources stated it is looking to hire qualified people – not the miner at the 'coal face' – to help design and build a fleet of automated and robotic asteroid mining probes, the Huffington Post reports.
Now it has halted applications.
"We have received more than 2,000 applications since our April 24th press event, and we are not currently accepting applications for full-time employees, summer internships or student co-ops," the company said.
"In the near future, we will be seeking applications from students for Fall 2012 co-ops."
Earlier this year, the heads of the world's five largest space agencies gathered in Canada to discuss interplanetary mining.
Several countries, including China, have already expressed an interest in mining the moon's resources and a number of prototype machines already exist.
Moon mining prototypes, including specially designed drills, are set for testing this year in Hawaii.
The Canadian Space Agency says it is waiting for Federal approval and an increase in interest from other countries before moving forward with more advanced space mining technology.
"When members of the international space community decide to go to the Moon or Mars, the CSA and Canada will be ready to contribute," it said.
The Moon contains reserves of gold, platinum-group elements, and rare earths minerals.
It also contains compounds not readily available on Earth, including Helium-3, a gas that could potentially be used in power generation.
However, many believe that mining is more likely to place on near earth asteroids (NEA) rather than the moon, a view which Planetary Resources has taken.
Speaking to Mark Sonter, who has written extensively on the technical and commercial feasibility of asteroid mining, he told Australian Mining that the potential for mining small near earth asteroids (NEA) and bringing them into earth’s high orbit is increasing as robotic and automated technology develops.
“There is no obvious showstopper that would impede mining in space,” Sonter said.
With the consistently growing number of near earth asteroids being identified, following funding boosts in the 90s, distance and accessibility is much better than many people would think.