Thursday, April 26, 2012

Asteroid mining!

The coolest thing ever was just announced a couple of days a go: a group of rich billionaires have started up a venture which has the ultimate goal of sending robots to mine asteroids for water and precious metals! As Jon Stewart on the Daily Show said, this is a news story that looks and sounds in 2012 what we thought it would look and sound like in 2012. Also on that same Daily Show episode, astrophysicist gives the project his own version of a thumbs up by calling it "not bullshit" :)

Characterizing an asteroid’s value and preparing for mining operations
(image copyright: Planetary Reources)

Anyway, I'm not going to rant on about this too much, except to say that I'm pretty excited and hopeful about this project. We are now getting to a situation where private billionaire investors are starting to embarrass some (though not all) of the current efforts by the big space agencies (NASA, ESA and Roscosmos). Here are some more links about this whole story: - official website of the venture, called "Planetary Resources"

Phil Plait's (aka The Bad Astronomer) take on the announcement.

Forum discussion by the space enthusiast community over at

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