A bottle of Space Aquafina for $700 will be interesting, though.
Water in space is so valuable it's stupid. It's worth right now about $20,000 per liter, but only if you keep it in space :P That's roughly the cost to send a liter to orbit.
It would be one helluva luxury to actually bring it back to earth and (gasp) drink it >_> But, that would be a unique event.
Once in space, water is used to hydrate astronauts (naturally), to generate electricity (sunlight captured --> electrolysis, reverse the process to generate electricity on demand), the generate oxygen to breathe and hydrogen to burn (also via electrolysis), and to serve as rocket fuel by actually burning oyxgen and hydrogen back into water.
In their company back end they talk about their linear methodology for asteroid mining--it actually begins with mining water from a bunch of asteroids. The idea being that water serves as jet fuel in space, thus by mining water you actually capture a large fuel source, enough to propel the asteroid back to earth, etc.
Thus, they say, water mining will, in time, enable metals mining. Until then, many governments with space programs, and similar commercial ventures, would rather buy water already in space than bring it up with them due to the high cost, and their water mining would have many immediate customers.
If you can't trust people with freedom, how can you trust people with power? ~Bruce Fenton
Thanks Anenome. As he said, it was only a matter of time. Read Heinlein's The Man Who Bought the Moon. It's about the commercialization of space. Great read. And in some aspects, probably revealing in how the US at least will get more involved in space.
I'm reading Stephen Baxter's Manifold: Time, which was written in 1999 and takes place in 2010, and I'm impressed by how prescient parts of the book are, in that it's main character owns a company that is trying to be the first to mine asteroids, and another character has a self driving car. While both those things are only in the planning and testing phases respectively, it's funny reading the fiction from 13 years ago and seeing articles about the that kind of stuff today.
Anyway, this is very very cool and exciting. To me this is bigger than just the awesome idea of asteroid mining. It's really about a group of thinkers and dreamers coming together to accomplish something amazing.