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Date
April 26, 2012

Asteroids!

A new company is starting an asteroid mining operation.
Transcript

Maggie: The idea is to tap into the vast natural resources on asteroids, like platinum and other precious metals, by landing robots on the asteroids nearest Earth.

“This company is not about thinking and dreaming about asteroid mining, this company is about creating a space economy beyond the Earth.”

Maggie The company, Planetary Resources, is backed by big names from Google and Microsoft. And people like James Cameron, the movie director/explorer who recently became the only man to dive solo to the lowest point on Earth.

“This is smart money investing in one of the best moves ever — going to space to gain resources for the benefit of humanity.”

Maggie: Within two years, Planetary Resources plans to launch up to five telescopes for close looks at the 9000 asteroids orbiting near Earth and target those asteroids with a lot of water. The water would be a sort of gas station for space travelers, with the oxygen used for breathing and hydrogen for rocket fuel.

“Our team includes people who have landed the spacecraft on Mars. We have talked and thought about the important pieces of technology that will enable us not only to go the asteroids but to eventually extract resources from them.”

Maggie: Asteroids offer rich sources of metals like platinum, which goes for $1500 an ounce. Officials say one platinum-rich asteroid about the size of three football fields contains the equivalent of all the platinum group metals ever mined on Earth.

“There’s a significant possibility we might fail but we believe in it anyway, because we believe that attempting this, and moving the needle for space is worth it. The vision of Planetary Resources is to make the resources of space available to humanity both in space and here on Earth.”

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