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"Is Outer Space The Next Frontier In Resource Investing?"," Planetary Resources boasts an impressive team, which includes past and present high-level Google executives Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, multiple former NASA members, a former CTO of Microsoft (MSFT), acclaimed film director James Cameron, and of course seasoned space exploration entrepreneurs as physicists.
As far out (literally!) as asteroid mining may sound, it is reminiscent of the ideas proposed by Zecharia Sitchin and Michael Tellinger -- students of ancient history who have authored books that have popularized the idea that humans were created by extraterrestrials as a slave species designed to mine earth for mineral wealth.
But for those who give them some credence, human endeavors to mine asteroids could simply be seen as a species' natural progression that may have occurred before with other species as well.
Very high quantities of minerals on these asteroids.
In other words, because of the inevitably high fixed costs of mining asteriods, there needs to be an abundance of minerals extractable at low prices to make this project economically viable.
The Planetary Resource team admits that while they are certainly interested in securing critical resources like platinum and palladium from these asteroids, these asteroids are likely to contain abundant supplies of fresh water.
The ability to reduce energy costs significantly.
There are many asteroids up there, and a game plan for how to scale an asteroid mining operation and actually get large quantities of what's valuable needs to be thought out carefully.
In sum, I think this idea is very promising and illustrates where we are headed to solve our natural resource problem -- but this is going to take a while.
Moreover, I also consider it more prudent to explore the under-explored areas here on planet Earth before going to near-earth asteroids.
Ultimately, the fact that a company like Planetary Resources is even emerging, is securing top talent, and is gaining media coverage illustrates how critical natural resources are becoming and how high the price is headed.
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