Planetary Resources Plans to Mine Asteroids

A few NASA candidates for manned missions by 2025, but James Cameron and company think they can get there a lot sooner.

In something right out of your favorite science-fiction novel (I don’t know, maybe Andrew Appleby’s Rise of the Cerians), a company that was started three years ago now with some mystery is now revealing its intentions.  Planetary Resources intends to attempt to mine asteroids near the Earth for materials we can use back home.  This includes water and platinum metals.  Sound crazy?  Well, consider this.  Some real heavy hitters are part of the project, including Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Ross Perot Jr., former Microsoft engineer Charles Simonyi, and James Cameron.  This is serious business, and they expect to launch their equipment in the next two years.

The revelation is causing a stir internationally as some nations think that this might be a violation of “space laws,” which are basically worldwide treaties that space-capable nations have signed.  However, Planetary Resources has all the answers and doesn’t see any legal obstacles standing in its way from taking the search for resources outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.  Planetary Resources has refused to divulge how much money is has raised for the project, but all of its owners have a net worth of $50 billion bucks together, so you can bet there’s no shortage of money making this happen.

Planetary Resources has lofty visions.  They even see the possibility of building bases on asteroids that are rich in hydrogen and oxygen.  These two elements are used extensively in launching rockets, and the company believes that one day asteroids could be used as launching points for missions to deeper space than humans currently venture into now.  They are really looking to the future, and the investors believe that this is the next logical step for humankind in finding resources.  What do you think?

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