Base metals… IN SPAAAACE!

Just in case you weren’t convinced that we’re living in the future: a newly launched mining company might be about to start exploiting a record-breaking untapped iron ore deposit… in spaaaace:

Supported by an impressive investor and advisor group, including Google’s Larry Page & Eric Schmidt, Ph.D.; film maker & explorer James Cameron; [...] and 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’.

Bad Astronomer Phil Plait has more:

Well now, what could that mean? What natural resources are there in space? Solar energy might count, but I have a strong suspicion what they’re really talking about is asteroid mining.

[…] The engineering behind it would be fearsome. We’re a ways out from being able to do this, but if we had a big rocket — say SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy (though I don’t see any SpaceX folks listed in the release) — then getting an operation to a near-Earth asteroid is feasible. Even a rocky asteroid would have metals in it, and we can pick in advance one that has a higher abundance of metals. And like I said in my TED talk, we can move asteroids around if we’re patient.

If I were being optimistic, I might say something like this could get off the ground in 20 years or so, depending on several variables, and maybe sooner. Let me be frank: I don’t think this is a crazy idea.

In other news, Aussie iron-ore billionaire and uninhibited thinker Clive Palmer was arrested last night for public intoxication, after he was found wandering down the streets of Brisbane screaming “bring it on you bastard, I’ll strip-mine you I swear to god” at the stupid moon.

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