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A Quixotic Quest to Mine Asteroids

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 10:52:54 -0400
Archived: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 10:52:54 -0400
Subject: A Quixotic Quest to Mine Asteroids

Source: The Wall Street Journal


April 20, 2012

A Quixotic Quest to Mine Asteroids
By Amir Efrati

A new company backed by two Google Inc. billionaires, film
director James Cameron and other space exploration proponents is
aiming high in the hunt for natural resources - with mining
asteroids the possible target.

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

The possibility of extracting raw materials such as iron and
nickel from asteroids has been discussed for decades, but the
cost, scientific expertise and technical prowess of fulfilling
such as feat have remained an obstacle. NASA experts have
projected it could cost tens of billions of dollars and take
well over a decade to land astronauts on an asteroid.

Tuesday's event is being hosted by Peter H. Diamandis and Eric
Anderson, known for their efforts to develop commercial space
exploration, and two former NASA officials.

[More at site - thanks to Diana Cammack for the lead]

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