25 April 2012, 04:22

Plans for asteroid mining emerge

LONDON. April 25. KAZINFORM Details have been emerging of the plan by billionaire entrepreneurs to mine asteroids for their resources, according to BBC.

The multi-million-dollar plan would use robotic spacecraft to squeeze chemical components of fuel and minerals such as platinum and gold out of the rocks.

The founders include film director and explorer James Cameron as well as Google's chief executive Larry Page and its executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

They even aim to create a fuel depot in space by 2020.

However, several scientists have responded with scepticism, calling the plan daring, difficult and highly expensive.

They struggle to see how it could be cost-effective, even with platinum and gold worth nearly £35 per gram ($1,600 an ounce). An upcoming Nasa mission to return just 60g (two ounces) of material from an asteroid to Earth will cost about $1bn.

The inaugural step, to be achieved in the next 18 to 24 months, would be launching the first in a series of private telescopes that would search for asteroid targets rich in resources. The intention will be to open deep-space exploration to private industry.

Within five to 10 years, however, the company expects to progress from selling observation platforms in orbit around Earth to prospecting services. It plans to tap some of the thousands of asteroids that pass relatively close to Earth and extract their raw materials.

The company, known as Planetary Resources, is also backed by space tourism pioneer Eric Anderson, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, former US presidential candidate Ross Perot and veteran Nasa astronaut Tom Jones.

The founders of the venture are to give further details in a press conference on Tuesday.

Full story

 Tags: Environment
Did you find a mistake? Highlight it and click CTRL+ENTER

Read also

Baikal waters start rising after dropping record low

ULAN UDE. KAZINFORM - The waters in Lake Baikal have started rising after falling to record low (455.71 meters) in the first days of May.

User name:
Enter code:*


Kazakhstan, Kashagan shareholders agree on production sharing
Snow leopard captured by camera-traps in mountains of Almaty region (PHOTO)
New Mayor of Astana prioritizes innovations development
Spurs' €14m offer for striker Vincent Janssen rejected by Alkmaar
Second chance: Petition to re-do Brexit vote gets 800k signatures in a day
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan propose to inscribe Western Tien Shan on World Heritage List
Wada suspends testing at its Rio laboratory weeks before Olympics
Kazakhstan increases gas production - OPEC

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Kazakhstan in 2015 increased production of marketable gas by five percent to 21.16 billion cubic meters, according to OPEC's Annual Statistical Bulletin.

Commented articles