Life On Earth
James Cameron, Google Plan To Mine Asteroids
Planetary Resources, a company launched in 2009 with a mission to "expand Earth's natural resource base" has announced its plans to tap into the untapped resources of the thousands of asteroids passing Earth's orbit . That's a goal that certainly seems ambitious, but the company has the backing of some very influential people including James Cameron, Google's Larry Page, space tourism pioneer Eric Anderson and others to achieve this goal.
Eventually, Planetary Resources hopes to establish a full-fledged logistics network including orbital gas stations and refineries. That's what they hope to achieve in the long term, but the first step is prospecting. The initial phase of the plan is to launch telescopes into Earth's orbit so they can document the locations of all the asteroids passing the planet. Planetary Resources hopes to accomplish this within the next couple of years.
Asteroid mining is a very viable long term investment. As Earth's population keeps growing, it's only a matter of time until resources start becoming scarce to the point of catastrophe. There are a lot of asteroids out there to mine and their resources should not run out very soon. Also, moving mining and refining operations to space means there's less waste to deal with down below. In a nutshell, this plan has all the potential to avert a good number of disasters.
By Denis Ivanov
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