Google execs, director Cameron in space venture

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:52pm EDT

Larry Page, Google co-founder, listens as Google CEO Eric Schmidt (R) talks to reporters at the Sun Valley Inn in Sun Valley, Idaho July 9, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Larry Page, Google co-founder, listens as Google CEO Eric Schmidt (R) talks to reporters at the Sun Valley Inn in Sun Valley, Idaho July 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and billionaire co-founder Larry Page have teamed up with "Avatar" director James Cameron and other investors to back an ambitious space exploration and natural resources venture, details of which will be unveiled next week.

The fledgling company, called Planetary Resources, will be unveiled at a Tuesday news conference at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, according to a press release issued this week.

Aside from naming some of the company's high-profile backers, the press release disclosed tantalizingly few details, saying only that the company will combine the sectors of "space exploration and natural resources" in a venture that could add "trillions of dollars to the global GDP." The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Planetary Resources will explore the feasibility of mining natural resources from asteroids, a decades-old concept.

"This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of 'natural resources,'" according to the press release.

Planetary Resource was co-founded by Eric Anderson, a former NASA Mars mission manager, and Peter Diamandis, the commercial space entrepreneur behind the X-Prize, a competition that offered $10 million to a group that launched a reusable manned spacecraft. Other notable investors include Charles Simonyi, a former top executive at Microsoft, and K. Ram Shriram, a Google director.

The venture will be the latest foray into the far-flung for Cameron, who dived last month in a mini-submarine to the deepest spot in the Mariana Trench. The plot of his 2009 science fiction blockbuster film, "Avatar," concerned resource mining on alien planets.

(Reporting By Gerry Shih; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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Comments (6)
gee.la wrote:
Space venture will not be done by this kind of people. It will be done by different kind of people.

Apr 20, 2012 12:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
explorer08 wrote:
At least they have the guts and vision to get something going. There will be many fits and starts over the next several decades, just as there were with other such ventures in human history but it is the continued effort that will result in eventual success. Most Americans, being cynical and inwardly focused, will ignore this venture or not even know about it. However, it is these courageous types of people that will help to drive us out into the solar system. History reveals that this is how these things work. We must rely on people with a long-term vision – - something our politicians of either party have none of.

Apr 21, 2012 9:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Marshallhagy wrote:
This is the best news I have heard in a long time. Best of luck to them, and I hope they get some competition as well.

Marshall Hagy
Chicago

Apr 21, 2012 11:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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