A lot of top-dollar investors have announced their backing of the new company Planetary Resources. The company will consist of former astronauts and venture capitalists who plan to officially announce the company's existence on Tuesday.
Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.; commercial space entrepreneur Eric Anderson; former NASA Mars mission manager Chris Lewicki; and planetary scientist & veteran NASA astronaut Tom Jones, Ph.D. will unveil the new space venture with "a mission to help ensure humanity's prosperity."
In a press release today, they have announced a long list of investors and advisors, including Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, filmmaker James Cameron, former chief Microsoft Software Architect Charles Simonyi, Ph.D; Google board of directors founding member K. Ram Shriram and Ross Perot, Jr; son of presidential candidate Ross Perot and chairman of The Perot Group.
An impressive line of investors, but what will they be doing? So far, the only word is that it will overlay two critical sectors - space exploration and natural resources, adding trillions to the global GDP. Sounds like astroid mining; the only thing that meets all three of those requirements, fits the name, and requires astronauts.
Astroids are rich in precious metals. A relatively small asteroid with a diameter of about a mile conatins more than 20 trillion US dollars worth of industrial and precious metals. In fact, all the gold, cobalt, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium, and tungsten on earth originally came from asteroids that struck Earth billions of years ago. In the past, the cost of space travel and the necessary tools of operation, have made investors shy away from astroid mining. But some speculate industrial necessities like antimony, zinc, tin, silver, lead, indium, gold, and copper could be depleted in the next 50 years.
Planetary Resources will hold the news conference at the Museum of Flight in Seattle on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. PDT and will be available online via webcast.
Since no one has actually done it before, this is about everything anyone really knows about astroid mining. I wish them luck.