The commercialization of space has begun in earnest, as a group of billionaires has settled on a revolutionary way to jump start both the global economy and our race’s stumbling steps towards the future.
A group of billionaires and former NASA scientists is now unveiling the first asteroid mining company in history. They claim they will “add trillions of dollars to the global GDP” and “help ensure humanity’s prosperity” by mining asteroids for rare metals like gold and platinum.
Their objective is to “harness resources from passing-by asteroids.” And they claim they are going to launch their first space prospecting ships within 24 months!
Who’s on board for this space madness?
Charles Simonyi, Planetary Resources, Investor; Eric Anderson, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources; Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources; Chris Lewicki, President & Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources; Tom Jones, Ph.D., Planetary Scientist, Veteran NASA Astronaut & Planetary Resources, Inc. Advisor.
How are they gonna pull this off?
- Advanced robotics that will allow for small spacecraft that can do a lot of things on their own.
- New launch platforms, like SpaceX’s Heavy Falcon rockets.
- Investors with no fear of risk, like Google’s Page and Brin. He actually means space nerds with gazillions of dollars.
“But the asteroid belt is all the way over by Mars!” many would say. Pshaw. They’ve got that covered.
They just care about near-Earth asteroids. There are 9,000 known Near Earth Asteroids. He argues that there are 1,500 that are energetically as easy to reach as the Moon.
They’re mostly going up there looking for water — zany, yeah, but it won’t affect the ecosystem if they snag it from space — to create oxygen and hydrogen for space missions, to Mars and other worlds. They figure that “gassing up” in the great beyond brings the cost of space travel down to much more reasonable numbers.
Of course, grabbing all the precious minerals — platinum, copper, and the more esoteric metals found inside iPads and cell phones — are on the menu too.
Robots going into space to bring back wonders from beyond. That’s a future worth talking about … even on late night TV (stay long enough to see Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson at the end) …