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Asteroid Mining Venture Backed by Google Execs, James Cameron Unveiled
by Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior Writer
23 April 2012

Small, water-rich near-Earth asteroids can be captured by spacecraft, allowing their resources to be extracted, officials with the new company, Planetary Resources, Inc., say.

The newly unveiled company with some high-profile backers — including filmmaker James Cameron and Google co-founder Larry Page — is set to announce plans to mine near-Earth asteroids for resources such as precious metals and water.

Planetary Resources, Inc. intends to sell these materials, generating a healthy profit for itself. But it also aims to advance humanity’s exploration and exploitation of space, with resource extraction serving as an anchor industry that helps our species spread throughout the solar system.

“If you look at space resources, the logical next step is to go to the near-Earth asteroids,” Planetary Resources co-founder and co-chairman Eric Anderson told SPACE.com. “They’re just so valuable, and so easy to reach energetically. Near-Earth asteroids really are the low-hanging fruit of the solar system.”

Here’s how it would work:

For more information, visit http://www.space.com/15395-asteroid-mining-planetary-resources.html

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