Planetary Resources takes a giant step toward space mining

Planetary Resources takes a giant step toward space mining[Image Source: Planetary Resources]

Located in Redmond, a small city east of Seattle in Washington State, the company was founded in 2009, and designed from the get go as an effort to profitably mine asteroids for raw materials; in 2011, they opened its doors. Founded by Eric Anderson and Peter Diamandis, both veterans of commercial space exploitation ventures, the company’s team includes veterans of NASA, JPL, and various other private sector companies, advisors such as Astronaut Thomas Jones and James Cameron, and high powered investors such as Sir Richard Branson.

Planetary Resources takes a giant step toward space mining[Image Source: Planetary Resources]

Planetary Resources sees asteroids as the key to not only the future of space exploration, but as the primary vehicle for, “allowing humanity to become a flourishing multi-planetary species.” While the popular view of what might be mined in space has always been precious metals, the real money maker may well be much simpler resources – water and hydrogen, the critical building blocks of spacecraft fuel. As it’s done now, getting fuel off the surface of the earth and into orbit is the reason that it costs as much as it does; as the company points out, once it’s up there, a pound of earth-based fuel is “worth more than an equivalent pound of gold.” If resource extraction from suitable asteroids is possible, it will radically lower the cost of fueling spacecraft, and as such, of extended exploration in space. Planetary Resources takes a giant step toward space mining[Image Source: Planetary Resources]

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