Up to now, only one guy is detected, but in theory it is estimated that there can be dozens at the same time. Until now, they are difficult to detect because of their small size and rapid movement, but in the near future, telescopes such as the LSST built in Chile will have to change the situation considerably.
After discovering a lot of minimums, it is possible to further explore them: flying to such an object would only take a few days. Small research would contribute significantly to the knowledge of the small bodies of the solar system. Unlike meteorites, they do not interact with the atmosphere, so they can be examined in a natural, long-lasting environment. A short distance and short flight time would allow the earth to carry large rock samples that could be examined in laboratories.
In addition, minimums will be a great platform for testing asteroid mining missions – even if not many usable resources are available, a mild performance would make it possible to test test technologies before sending them on further journeys. Commercial and scientific goals could serve each other – joint research and development missions would be cheaper and more effective.
Prospects are discussed in an article published in the magazine Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences.