Google Billionaires Fund Asteroid Mining Company

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planetary resource asteroid miningGoogle billionaires Eric Schmidt and Larry Page have decided to provide funding for an interesting space exploration start-up named Planetary Resources. The new company, which is focused on natural resources and space exploration, plans to mine natural resources from asteroids and add trillions of dollars to the global GDP.

In addition to the Google executives, the startup will also be funded by Microsoft’s former Chief Software Architect Dr. Charles Simonyi, Perot Group Chairman Ross Perot Jr., and Avatar movie director James Cameron. According to a recent press release, the new venture will be formally announced at the Museum of Flight in Seattle on Tuesday morning. The press release also promised to redefine natural resources and create a new industry:

“The company will overlay two critical sectors – space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP. This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources’.

Although the idea of asteroid mining seems closer to Cameron’s popular movie Avatar than reality, this determined group believes that the investment will pay off and that a single asteroid could produce trillions of dollars of natural resources.

Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York indicated a belief that entrepreneurs and privatization may be able to accomplish what the government cannot:

“I think private enterprise will boldly go where governments fear to tread. And I think the space program has been in purgatory in the last few years. NASA is an agency to nowhere. So, we need private enterprise, especially people with deep pockets to help jump start the program and maybe mining the heavens is just the ticket.”

Even though Google has invested company money to develop enhanced reality glasses, driverless cars, and the top-secret Google X lab, Page and Schmidt have decided to invest their own money to fund this wild start-up.

Sources Include: The Wall Street Journal, Technology Review, & ABC News
Photo Source: Shutterstock

David Angotti

David Angotti

After successfully founding and exiting an educational startup in 2009, I began helping companies with business development, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO),... Read Full Bio
David Angotti
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  • Mirko @

    This is true evidence that money is power and freedom to do everything you want..
    Freedom to pursue your dreams and beyond!

  • Bobby

    Google has conquered the world. This is it’s first step to conquer the Universe.

  • Jeff Downer

    Shouldn’t that be the galactic GDP?

  • Bryan Gene Thompson

    Do you think Google will be selling any advertising space on any of the launch equipment?

  • NJP1

    Hate to be the lone voice pointing this out, but there’s a whacking great asteroid sitting about 240,000 miles away, made up of much the same ‘stuff’ as all the millions of little ones flying around our corner of the universe. If there were anything commercially viable there, commercial interests would have been shifting it back to Earth decades ago.
    But before we get into space economics. Let’s discuss the more down to earth variety. I fill up my car with chemical energy and run it for a week. If I haven’t earned more in that week than I paid for the energy I put in, then I’m either running at a loss or on vacation. If I sink an oilwell, I’m faced with the same economic reality. It’s called EROEI or Energy Returned on Energy Invested.
    Moon-mining is subject to exactly the same law.
    One must assume that the means of reaching asteroids would be with a chemical-fuelled machine, (like my car) so the same economics apply as earth-bound vehicles. Fill it up and blast off a $20 billion dollar firecracker (or $100billion?) They’ve been powering space transport that way since Werner von Braun started it back in the 1940’s, Even the Wright brothers used explosive chemicals back in 1903. No other viable way has yet been discovered that will lift us clear of gravity.
    Wish-science won’t work.
    But supposing you do blow $20Bn on fuel, anything you bring back has to be worth more than that, or you’ve just been on an expensive vacation.
    As we’re still using chemical propulsion, any weight carried is strictly pro-rata to the energy burned, so it follows that anything ‘mined’ on an asteroid will have a value greater than the effort expended in getting hold of it. (EROEI again I’m afraid). We already know the geological composition of asteroids, so what’s there can only be stuff we know about already. (Quantities are irrelevant). Bring back 10 tons of anything, and it will cost far more than any value it could have in Earth-economy’ terms.
    Given that the prime ‘natural resource’ that has fuelled the Earth’s economy for millennia is based on hydrocarbon, of which there is none on the asteroids or our moon, exactly what kind of ‘natural resources’ do these people have in mind?
    Cameron, Brin et al might want to blow billions on rocket fuel, but spending money does not create wealth unless you’ve discovered some as yet unknown energy source. Kryptonite maybe?