Three zillionaires, an astronaut, and a corp of dreamy engineers walked into a bar and decided to shoot waaaay beyond the moon:
(USA Today) — The exact nature of Planetary Resource’s business is still under wraps, but speculation centers on the possibility of an asteroid mining company.
The company will overlay two critical sectors — space exploration and natural resources — to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP,” the company said in a media alert announcing an unveiling next Tuesday. “This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources.’”
There is a lot of resources out there, just floating around in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres for example, pictured above, is thought to be loaded with rocky compounds containing all sorts of elements, along with methane and water (It also has the perfect dynamics for a viable space elevator using materials and engineering techniques available right now). Water is one of the most vaulable substances we can find in space, not just for drinking and other uses, but because it contains oxygen and hydrogen. Both hugely useful in space exploration and very expensive to lift from earth.
What precisely those resources are, and more importantly, how these guys plan to get to them, or get them back to where they’re needed, is a whole ‘nother story. I have a few lines into some double secret space sources asking for info and access to the investors in question. We’ll see …