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Does Life Imitate Avatar? James Cameron Launching New Space Mining Venture (UPDATE)

In a post last May, entitled The First Trillionaires Will Make Their Fortunes in Space, we speculated about how the future explorers of space will be chasing unimaginable riches:

As Peter Diamandis told the International Space Development Conference, “There are twenty-trillion-dollar checks up there, waiting to be cashed!” These cosmic cash cows are so-called Near-Earth asteroids that contain a wide range of precious resources. Sure, this may sound a lot like the movie Avatar, in which the RDA Corporation mined the mineral unobtanium on the planet of Pandora. But this is no pie-in-the-sky idea. Twenty trillion USD is the estimated market value of a relatively small metallic asteroid that was first calculated by John S. Lewis in his book Mining The Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Comets, and Planets. Lewis argued that “using presently available or readily foreseeable technologies, we can relieve Earth of its energy problem, make astronomical amounts of raw materials available, and raise the living standard of people worldwide.”

Fast forward nearly one year, and we find out a new venture called Planetary Resources announced it aims to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP by merging “space exploration and natural resources,” the company announced in a press release.

So who are the players?

None other than Diamandis and Avatar creator James Cameron. (Diamandis and Cameron are in good company. They are joined by Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Ross Perot Jr., and others.) 

UPDATE: 4.21.2012

Big Think will be live blogging the webcast on April 24 at 10:30 a.m. PDT. 

You can follow along on Twitter @PlanetaryRsrcs and for more information read this excerpt from their press release:

*** Media Alert *** Media Alert *** Media Alert ***

Space Exploration Company to Expand Earth’s Resource Base

WHAT: Join visionary Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.; leading commercial space entrepreneur Eric Anderson; former NASA Mars mission manager Chris Lewicki; and planetary scientist & veteran NASA astronaut Tom Jones, Ph.D. on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. PDT in Seattle, or via webcast, as they unveil a new space venture with a mission to help ensure humanity’s prosperity.

Supported by an impressive investor and advisor group, including Google’s Larry Page & Eric Schmidt, Ph.D.; film maker & explorer James Cameron; Chairman of Intentional Software Corporation and Microsoft’s former Chief Software Architect Charles Simonyi, Ph.D.; Founder of Sherpalo and Google Board of Directors founding member K. Ram Shriram; and Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group Ross Perot, Jr., 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.’


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