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[ox-en] Meaning of "prospecting asteroids"

Dear native English speakers!

In the GNU manifesto (`') there
is a paragraph reading:

	In the long run, making programs free is a step toward the
	post-scarcity world, where nobody will have to work very hard
	just to make a living. People will be free to devote
	themselves to activities that are fun, such as programming,
	after spending the necessary ten hours a week on required
	tasks such as legislation, family counseling, robot repair and
	asteroid prospecting. There will be no need to be able to make
	a living from programming.

Now for the question. What does "asteroid prospecting" mean in this
context. There is a German translation talking of "watching"
(`beobachten') but I feel this is a wrong translation. I suppose RMS
talks more of exploiting asteroids by mining their minerals or perhaps
looking for asteroids to mine them afterwards.

Can you help?

						Mit li(e)bertären Grüßen



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