In all geologic time, the responsibilities are on our generation ... including you ...

Planetary Resources, Inc. -- James Cameron, Larry Page of Google, et al.

Planetary Resources, Inc., is a startup company formed by several billionaires to mine asteroids near Earth.

Dr. Peter Diamandis, a longtime and tireless space resources advocate with humanistic motivations, who was instrumental in promoting the Ansari X-Prize and other projects, is behind the startup of Planetary Resources, Inc. The PERMANENT website covers the Google X-Prize as well, which is a $30 million reward for the first entity to put send a lunar probe to the surface of the Moon, travel at least a certain distance, and send back a certain amount of video which is received and viewed.

Planetary Resources' list of investors and advisors include:

Two Google billionaires:

  • Larry Page
  • Eric Schmidt

together with former Microsoft executive:

  • Charles Simonyi

plus former US Presidential candidate Ross Perot's son:

  • Ross Perot, Jr

plus billionaire venture capitalist:

  • Ram Shriram

and in a high profile way, Hollywood movie director:

  • James Cameron

which obviously would sum up to an extremely wealthy, experienced, creative and powerful group.

Diamandis said that he hopes this will start a "gold rush" for lunar and asteroidal resources, and he may be right.

Because it is promoted by a group of experienced businessmen, it will gain credibility and reduce the "giggle factor" about space resources utilization. It adds a whole lot of credibility.

Because space resources represent power, it is sure to attract the attention of governments and militaries around the world.

However, it is probably the prospect of making money, glory, and going to space oneself or for one's children which will mean that the private sector will leave the slow governments way behind.

The company was set up in 2009 and operated with secrecy for 3 years. It has employed about two dozen engineers.

The stated plan is as follows:

Launch an "Arkyd Series 100" space telescope, to image and analyze asteroids above the atmosphere.

Later, launch an Arkyd Series 200 space telescope, which would have added propulsion to cross very near the trajectory of an asteroid which comes close to Earth.

Later, launch Arkyd Series 300 telescopes to go to the asteroids. Actually, telescope swarms.

Create an assembly line for these telescopes, as well as for mass produced mining and transport equipment.

At the beginning, launch them as secondary payloads on other launches, aka "rideshares".

Start processing asteroidal materials within the decade.

The main materials of interest to them are:

  • Water and other volatiles which can be used to create fuel propellants in space

  • Platinum group metals to sell back to Earth

  • Water and other materials to deliver to space stations in Earth orbit

We have yet to see the impact of this announcement.

See also PERMANENT's analysis and position, see the link below.

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