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2014: Planetary Resources To Launch Their First Satellites 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamandis dept.
symbolset writes "Planetary Resources wants to mine asteroids for their sweet, sweet minerals and make a business of it. The sparky little company has been writ up here on Slashdot numerous times. With the backing of such billionaires as Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, James Cameron, and many others, and such luminaries as major NASA project managers, engineers and scientists, you have to think they might have a good shot at it. Recently they picked up a huge engineering, procurement and construction partner: Bechtel. Their operations are already cash-flow positive by selling tech invented to pursue their goals, so they're a legitimate business running lean and intending to make good. Yesterday they announced the plan to launch their first space missions — the Arkyd Series 100 LEO Space Telescopes — as soon as next year. Beginning in 2014 their satellites will be scanning the skies from Low Earth Orbit for lucrative rocks that happen to be heading our way, and incidentally doing for-pay work to keep the lights on. For a reasonable fee they'll sell you the right to retask one of these telescopes to take a picture of anything you want that it can see, for a fair price. The plan is to follow up with harvester craft to go get these asteroids, mulch them, and sell their bits for profit. Some talk has been made of selling what are uncommon terrestrial minerals like gold and platinum, refined on orbit and deorbited at great expense as a business plan, but frankly that's absurd. 'Extraterrestrial Asteroid Bits' ought to go for a higher price on the collector market than gold or platinum ever would, and the temporal preeminence should draw a premium price. 'This 69 mg specimen (769 of 10,000) was one of the first commercially harvested bits of asteroid returned to Earth. Lucite embedded for permanent display, with case. Certificate of authenticity included.'"
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2014: Planetary Resources To Launch Their First Satellites

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  • by bugs2squash (1132591) on Friday April 26, 2013 @04:33PM (#43561257)
    No you crush the asteroid and leave the parts in a stable orbit then charge the government to clean up the mess. Or the government pays you to leave the debris field in the path of any ICBM launched from N Korea.
  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Friday April 26, 2013 @04:36PM (#43561299) Homepage

    platinum and gold have practical uses. it would freak out the goldbugs though if it became financially feasible to get them from space and to land them.

    Gold?? Who's suggesting getting gold from asteroids?

    On Earth, gold veins are produced by aqueous processes. You wouldn't expect that on asteroids.

    Platinum, and platinum-group metals, on the other hand-- these are siderophiles, and hence depleted in the Earth's crust. Good elements to look for in asteroids-- in fact, iridium is the very signature of an asteroid impact.

Scientists will study your brain to learn more about your distant cousin, Man.

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