Space Exploration: Google and James Cameron Pioneered Space Mining

Birth of a new planet and asteroids.
Birth of a new planet and asteroids. | Source

Google Enters the Asteroid Mining Business

Despite plans and publicity published about Google, SpaceX and NASA and their ventures into partnerships for privatized space flight, much of the American public felt in 2012 that the American Space Program died with the last Shuttle launch during July 2011. However, this is incorrect. Partnerships between NASA and private designers, astronaut trainers, and manufactures overlapped the end of the US Space Shuttle Program by at least a year, with astonishing results.

On April 30, 2012 a manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was scheduled with the SpaceX privately built Dragon and Falcon vehicles, in partnership with NASA.

In 2010, Google had supplied $30,000,000 incentive money for privatized design and manufacture of prototype Lunar Vehicles to be launched and used in 2015. Some pioneers in this LunarX project contest beat the deadline by readying their spacecraft for an early 2013 launch.

In Second Quarter 2012, film maker and deep sea explorer James Cameron and Google executive Jimmy Page entered the Privatized Aerospace Asteroid Mining Industry.

We could have privatized sooner, because the prize monies and business incentives in the private sector and speeding our way to commercial space business within the lifetime of the Baby Boomers. We may just need to re-read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Back to the Moon to examine what events and problems may occur on the moon and in the asteroid fields past Mars.

Hubble spotted object P/2010 A2, via the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) sky survey in early January 2010. It was traveling in an asteroid field near Earth.
Hubble spotted object P/2010 A2, via the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) sky survey in early January 2010. It was traveling in an asteroid field near Earth. | Source

America Started the First Asteroid Mining Company

Planetary Resources Inc. made American and World History in 2012 when it incorporated under the leadership of billionaires, retired NASA scientists, and Google in order to mine asteroids for mineral resources.

Those who did not previously believe this accomplishment to be possible had to take a second look.

Before any thought was given to mining the Asteroid Belt just beyond Mars, offices Planetary Resources decided to mine the asteroids that pass near the Earth. This calls for updated mining machinery and equipment, Earth-orbit space vehicles and other items, along with new jobs in a variety of fields.

New telescopes will need to be launched and new robots for mining will need to be designed and manufactured. Planetary Resources secured funding for hundreds of new telescopes for aerospace use through just two days of crowd funding in 2013.

About 9,000 asteroids near Earth, containing Platinum and other precious metals and minerals, will be mined first (reference: NASA ongoing research). However, the most important item to be mined from asteroids may be water that astronauts need to drink in space to sustain life.

THE FOUNDERS

  • Google founders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, PhD
  • Founder of Sherpalo and Google Board of Directors member, K. Ram Shriram
  • Filmmaker and underwater explorer James Cameron
  • Chairman of Intentional Software Corporation and former Chief Software Architect of Microsoft, Charles Simonyi, PhD
  • Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group, Ross Perot, Jr.

.

  • New partner Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic came aboard in 2013. He is ready to launch the first commercial tourist flights from Spaceport America in New Mexico in 2015, tickets already sold in 2013 - 2014.

Historic Places In Seattle

show route and directions
A markerMuseum of Flight in Seattle -
Museum of Flight, 9404 East Marginal Way S, Seattle, WA 98108, USA
[get directions]

B markerScience Fiction Hall of Fame Seattle -
Experience Music Project, 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
[get directions]

Announcements

The first press conference of the new company officers was held on April 24, 2012 just days before the historic April 30 launch of the SpaceX Dragon to the ISS.

Tom Jones, PhD is listed as Planetary Scientist, Veteran NASA Astronaut & Planetary Resources, Inc. Advisor. He is a former engineer with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

One other important advisor is astrophysicist and planetary scientist Sara Seager of Toronto and MIT.

Other important officials:

  • Eric Anderson, founder of Space Adventures travel organization for private travel to the ISS;
  • Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize Foundation, which provided incentives for private spacecraft.

The conference was held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, the city where Paul Allen's Science Fiction Hall of Fame is also located.

The writers and the stars of space operas of the Golden Age of Science Fiction through the 1970s would have been ecstatic to see this progress. Senator and former astronaut John Glenn is certainly ecstatic, still teaching at the Ohio State University in his 90s.

Could the Starfleet Corps of Engineers be far behind?

Google Is Certainly Increasing Jobs - By 1100 to 1300%

Source
Source

Confidence In the Success of Google

Google is such a successful company that it's association through its co-founders to Planetary Resources, Inc. and other investors in the new company likely ensures the viability of Planetary Resources' plans for asteroid mining.

NASA's launching of the Dawn spacecraft on a Delta II rocket into the Asteroid Belt in order to gather initial data about the asteroids was accomplished in 2007, with partners:

  • University of California Los Angeles
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico
  • German Aerospace Center in Berlin
  • Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg, Germany
  • Italian National Institute of Astrophysics in Palermo, Italy
  • Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Virginia - manufacture and assembly

Investors in Planetary Resources seem confident with the Dawn results and are willing to pursue their goals in asteroid mining. We can expect the company to become rather protective of information in the future, because it is a private company rather than a government agency. America wishes it full success for the sake of national and global economy and space exploration.

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Comments 6 comments

jbosh1972 profile image

jbosh1972 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

Absolutely amazing! Platinum is a very important industrial metal. Would like to see if it comes down in price a little. Once the space mining infrastructure is established, we will need to mine things like nickel, chromium, and cobalt as well.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Exactly on the mark, jbosh1972. Officials at Planetary Resources feel that the price of platinum would come down barbecue the cost of mining and refining it from asteroids would be high at first. That might be a good thing.


Brooke Mooney 4 years ago from Canada

What an interesting article! A great read indeed. I had no idea that Google had a vested interest in space rocks! I'd like to read more on this topic. Thank you for writing such an informative article!


incomeguru profile image

incomeguru 4 years ago from Lagos

NASA cannot do it all alone, they need some authorities in science and technology to partner with. And joining forces with Google, means a viable partnership.

Well, we're waiting for them to start as early as possible to mining asteroids for platinum.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

It is definitely very intriguing, this new partnership and this new company. It will also be interesting to note what spinoffs there are over the next decade from this new company.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I agree with you, Phil. All kinds of spinoffs and related businesses.

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