Also Larry Page and James Cameron.
A new company backed by Ram Shriram and Eric Schmidt of Google, Larry Page, director James Cameron and a few others is aiming high in the hunt for natural resources!
Yes, you read it right. A new venture company called Planetary Resources Inc., which is backed by Larry Page, Ram Shriram and Eric Schmidt of Google, director James Cameron, Charles Simonyi (Microsoft executive and astronaut) and a few others, expects to announce plans on April 24th to mine asteroids.
Of course, this can't be cheap. NASA experts have projected it could cost tens of billions of dollars and take well over a decade to land astronauts on an asteroid.The venture, called Planetary Resources Inc., revealed little in a press release this week except to say that it would "overlay two critical sectors—space exploration and natural resources—to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP" and "help ensure humanity's prosperity." The company is formally unveiling its plans at an event Tuesday in Seattle.
While the announcement may cause some people to snicker at what could be a page out of a sci-fi novel or a Hollywood movie scene, Planetary Resources is making its debut just as scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other groups are embracing the notion of mining "near-Earth asteroids" and providing blueprints for how such a feat would be accomplished.
The additional cost to mine the asteroid and return the ores to Earth would make profit unlikely even if the asteriod was 20% gold!Asteroid mining could take several forms, including sending humans in a spacecraft to an asteroid so they could explore and mine it. In another scenario, robotic spacecraft could be launched either to mine an asteroid directly or transport it closer to Earth so that humans could more easily reach it.
Earlier this month, a study by NASA scientists concluded that, for a cost of $2.6 billion, humans could use robotic spacecraft to capture a 500-ton asteroid seven meters in diameter and bring it into orbit around the moon so that it could be explored and mined. The spacecraft, using a 40-kilowatt solar-electric propulsion system, would have a flight time of between six and 10 years, and humans could accomplish this task by around 2025.
The estimated cost doesn't include the billions of dollars that it might take to extract minerals.
So, what exactly they'll do? It will be interesting to see the company plans and movements in the future!
NEWS SOURCE #1: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...967904210.html
NEWS SOURCE #2: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/04...mine-asteroids
Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news story!