OK, so what's out there that should interest us?
The brief answer is: "Trillions of times as much as whatever we have on Earth to interest us". Well, at least in "economic resource" terms. Some references:
Resources from Space: U. Wisconsion Graduate Course developed by Dr. Harrison Schmitt et al.
Aerospace Digital Library site for Space-related material: http://www.adl.gatech.edu/adl0/adl00space.html
1. Smitherman, D.V., Jr., "New Space Industries for the Next Millennium" NASA CP-1998-209006, Dec.1998. http://flightprojects.msfc.nasa.gov/pdf_files/NewSpaceIndustries.pdf
2. Smitherman. D.V., Jr. (Ed.) "National Forum on The Future Development of Space", NASA MSFC/ US Chamber of Commerce Conference, March '99. NASA CP2000-210428, August 2000. http://flightprojects.msfc.nasa.gov/pdf_files/DoSForum.pdf
3. Schmitt, Harrison J., and Kulcinski, G., "Helium-3 Fusion: A Safe, Clean and Economical Energy Source for Future Generations". Under NEEP602/ Geology 376, Resources From Space, http://silver.neep.wisc. edu/~neep602/lecture27.html
4. Criswell, D., "Commercial Solar-Electric Conversion". Proceedings of the First Space Resources Utilization RoundTable, Golden, CO, October 1999. http://www.mines.edu/research/srr/first_srr.html
5. Lin, T.D., "Concrete for Lunar Base Construction", in Shohrokhi, F., et al, "Commercial Opportunities in Space", Prog. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Vol. 110, 1987, p. 510-521.
6. Lin [1987b]: Lin, T.D., Love, H., Stark, D., "Physical Properties of Concrete Made with Apollo 16 Lunar Soil Sample". in Shohrokhi, F., Chao, C.C., Harwell, K.E., "Commercial Opportunities in Space", Progress in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Vol. 110, 1987, p. 522-533.
7. Ignatiev, A., Freundlich, A., "Production of Solar Cells on the Moon from Lunar Regolith" . Proceedings of the First Space Resources Utilization RoundTable, Golden, CO, October 1999. http://www.mines.edu/research/srr/first_srr.html
8. Ignatiev, A., "A New Architecture for Space Solar Power Systems: Fabrication of Silicon Solar Cells Using In-Situ Resources". Phase 1 project, NIAC 2000, http://www.niac.usra.edu/studies/