Billionaire Ross Perot, filmmaker James Cameron and executives from Google are among the magnates who financed a project to search for precious minerals in asteroids and commercially exploit, today announced the signing Planetary Resources.
The project consists of the placement in orbit of Earth in less than two years, a telescope that will identify the asteroids that may contain metals and water, and the beginning of the survey in four years, said Eric Anderson, the founder of that firm, in a teleconference from Seattle.
Among those who financed the company include chief executive of Google, Larry Page, the chairman of the board of that company, Eric Smith, and one of the members of the committee Kavitark Ram Shriram.
According to the plans of this true adventure in a decade will have developed “gas stations” galactic, from water in an asteroid, hydrogen and oxygen sold for refueling spacecraft.
“The pits open to the Earth’s crust is not only terrible from the environmental point of view but really expensive and very difficult,” said Anderson.
“Why not go to the source of these metals?” He added. “We already have ample technology that allows us to asteroids and use of resources” they may have.
Indeed, the U.S. space agency NASA last month completed a study on the possibilities of carrying out mining operations on asteroids.
The study of NASA scientists concluded that “at a cost of $ 2,600 million space robots could be used to capture an asteroid seven meters in diameter and 500 tons, and bring it into orbit around the Moon to explore and exploit it. ”
That’s the long-term goal that many companies envision, although NASA estimated that sending a spacecraft will take six to ten years and can be made by 2025.
“Humanity has had for thousands of years the urge to explore the Earth in search of resources,” he said at the presentation of the project Peter H. Diamandis, founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources. “The next step is to expand the economic sphere of humanity beyond the confines of Earth.”
The sale of precious metals and rare earth calls extracted from asteroids could mean profits of billions of dollars, said Diamandis.
According to Anderson, the mining of asteroids with the use of robots could be cheaper, efficient and sustainable environmental point of view that the excavation of the earth.
One of those precious metals is platinum, which in the industry of motor vehicles used for making catalytic converters. Unlike gold and silver, platinum deposits on Earth originated on asteroids that collided with the planet.
Category: Business News