asteroids

Are asteroids the mineral resources of the future?

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With their tons of precious metals, asteroids floating in space inspire scientists, engineers, science fiction writers... and billionaires. According to Wired magazine, a group of wealthy entrepreneurs are expected to announce on Tuesday, April 24, the creation of a new company, Planetary Resources, which will send a swarm of robots into space to explore the asteroids in search of precious metals.

"Earth's resources are small compared to the wealth of the solar system," according to Eric Andersonwhich was the origin of the space tourism company Space Adventures and co-founder of Planetary Resources. According to the press release, "this innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of what natural resources are," the magazine reports. Forbes.

asteroid2Nearly 9,000 asteroids more than 45 metres in diameter are in orbit around the Earth. Some could contain as much platinum as an entire year's worth of Earth's mineral resources, making these large rocks in space worth billions of dollars apiece .

For Forbes, it was curiosity that launched the conquest of space. Then the fear that the Russians would precede the Americans in their exploration. It is the turn of greed to be a driving force: "I'm trying to launch a new gold rush," explains the company's confessor without complex. Peter Diamandis...for whom this is the only way to explore space. Even if those who know him judge that Diamandis, passionate about the conquest of space, is not only motivated by money.

For despite the promise of "astronomical" profits, the length of the process and the uncertainty of investing in space mining have always kept most investors away from such projects. Moreover, neither the question of the legality of the operation nor that of its technical feasibility has really been settled...

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But the start-up company can count on the support of several billionaires like Google's bosses, Larry Page and Eric Schmidtor the creator of Microsoft Word and Excel software, Charles SimonyiThe first tourist on the International Space Station. Planetary Resources' investors and advisors also include the director of Titanic, James Cameron. Passionate about adventure, Cameron has recently dived in individual submarines to the Mariana TenchThe director of Avatar, a film with an ecological message in which Earthlings invade a planet and plunder its natural resources, doesn't seem to mind being enlisted in an operation to colonize space! (Source: Slate.fr - April 2012)

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