As Planetary Resources announced their official existence as well as their aim to mine resources this week via the Museum of Flight, the group's co-founder Eric Anderson detailed not only how they'd be moving forward, but how they've already progressed. As it turns out, and as many miners here on Earth already know, platinum (as well as quite a few other resources) can be mined from asteroids already today - from asteroids that have already hit the earth. Asteroid impact areas are the first phase in this project, and it's been happening for hundreds of years already.
Inside 24 months mining efforts will have started. Of the 9,000 of the near earth asteroids that exist surrounding our planet right this second, 1,500 are near enough to us that no more energy will be needed to be used than what it takes to get to the moon. This project will work first with nothing more complicated than probes sent into space. Next they'll be moving to prospecting - taking back tiny samples. Third there will be extraction - the actual taking back of large amounts of resources from NEAs around the globe.
"I think I've been blown away by the fever pitch if you will of the media the last few days. Tt's been amazing to watch the blogs, the commentary, the speculation out there in the world about 'is this for real?' All the comments out there except for maybe 5 to 10 percent of the reactions out there have been positive. We're going to create a network of propellant gas stations in space to dramatically reduce the price of space travel. ... We hope to create a future where we can count on space resources ... we need to grab [these asteroids] to assure prosperity for us in the future." - Eric Anderson
Eric Anderson's excitement over the project has been undeniably easy to see and experience as this project and this company are blessed here in late April. The biggest point of this project thus far has been and continues to be some of the contributors to this project monetarily - Larry Page and Eric Schmidt are a couple of them. Have a peek at the first demonstration and introduction in the post Planetary Resources asteroid mining made a reality inside 24 months. You'll find this project to be massively impressive should it ever get off the ground!