A group of billionaire investors announced today the formation of Planetary Resources, Inc., a company focused on mining precious metals from the asteroids that orbit earth. Me? I just formed Geekologie Writer, Inc., a company focused on swindling investors, then dissolving as the founder flees the country.
Nearly 9,000 asteroids larger than 150 feet in diameter orbit near the Earth. Some could contain as much platinum as is mined in an entire year on Earth, making them potentially worth several billion dollars each. The right kinds of investment could reap huge rewards for those willing to take the risk.
Within the next 18 to 24 months, Planetary Resources hopes to launch between two and five space-based telescopes at an estimated cost of a few million dollars each that will identify potentially valuable asteroids.
Within five to seven years, the company hopes to send out a small swarm of similar spacecraft for a more detailed prospecting mission, mapping out a valuable asteroid in detail and identifying rich resource veins. They estimate such a mission will cost between $25 and 30 million.
The next step -- using robots to remotely mine, possibly refine ore, and return material to Earth safely -- is probably the toughest phase, and Planetary Resources is still tight-lipped about its plans here.
Hey, I'm all for mining asteroids, but you want to know where the REAL space bucks are at? Destroying alien races and stealing their technology. Just saying, you know how much a warp drive or teleporter would be worth here on earth? GAJILLIONS. "That isn't a real number." Not real, or so big we haven't invented it yet? Food for thought. "Those are dog treats." I know -- my favorite ones.
Thanks to Chris B. and michelle, who agree we should just use a giant tractor beam to suck an asteroid into earth and go out like the dinosaurs: in style.