Money

A 'diamond planet,' mining the moon and other ways billionaires plan to make a fortune in space

There are many reasons billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are so obsessed with the space race: space tourism, to save humanity, maybe even to have the biggest "toy" in the form of a rocket.

But there is also a fortune to be made out of this world, as highlighted on a recent episode of CNBC's "The Filthy Rich Guide."

Billionaires are already getting ready to mine the moon for pricey Helium-3, which is rare on Earth, according to NASA, but could theoretically produce enough clean fuel to power the planet.

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX
Getty Images | Robyn Beck
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX

Moon Express founder Naveen Jain, who wants to mine Helium-3, says his company is on track to land a spacecraft on the moon by November or December 2017.

Near-Earth asteroids could also be a cash cow, according to "The Filthy Rich Guide," since they contain iron deposits worth an estimated $11 quadrillion (that's $11,000,000,000,000,000).

That's more than 730,000 times the net worth of Earth's top iron-ore mogul, Australian Gina Rinehart, who has made about $14 billion mining the valuable rocks.

But the most fabulous potential space fortune may be "the diamond planet," the more technical name of which is 55 Cancri e. This exoplanet is twice the size of earth and may be made up of one-third diamonds. That diamond cache could be worth $26 nonillion (that's 30 zeros), according to "The Filthy Rich Guide."

Image: Beyoncé (Getty | Clive Brunskill)

Given that Jay-Z popped the question with an 18-carat diamond that cost a reported $5 million, according to the show: "With that kind of payday, you can afford to propose to Beyoncé 5.2 million billion billion times."

Watch CNBC's "The Filthy Rich Guide," Wednesday, June 7th at 10 PM/ET.

Don't miss:

Billionaire problems: 3 ridiculous situations only the super rich could get themselves into

Is this multimillion-dollar Rolls-Royce the most expensive new car ever?