What could be a huge leap forward in space exploration was announced today as Planetary Resources, a US Company backed by high profile people, Google CEO Larry Page, Film Director James Cameron and Ross Peron Jr. among them, has announced plans to mine near earth asteroids for their resources.
In a press release, Planetary Resources says that the asteroids will be mined for raw materials such as water and precious metals. The company predicts that it will become worth billions annually and that the resources that are mined will “deliver multiple benefits to humanity”. The company also says that the asteroids will provide a sustainable resource to the Earth’s ever growing population.
Commenting in a press release, Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Co-Founder and Co -Chairman of Planetary Resources Inc., said:
“Many of the scarce metals and minerals on Earth are in near-infinite quantities in space. As access to these materials increases, not only will the cost of everything from microelectronics to energy storage be reduced, but new applications for these abundant elements will result in important and novel applications.”
Planetary Resources will develop a line of deep-space prospecting spacecraft. Named the Arkyd-100 Series, the spacecraft will help to prioritise the first near-Earth asteroids and prepare the way for Planetary Resources Arkyd-300 Series expeditions.
The company says that the near-Earth asteroids will provide “stepping stones” in deep space exploration and says that accessing the water sources in space will make space travel more affordable.
Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, Inc., said:
“Water is perhaps the most valuable resource in space. Accessing a water-rich asteroid will greatly enable the large-scale exploration of the solar system. In addition to supporting life, water will also be separated into oxygen and hydrogen for breathable air and rocket propellant.”