Titanic, Avatar director and self-confessed diving junkie James Cameron is one name from a number of high-profile investors (a list that also includes Google co-founders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, former Microsoft executive Charles Simonyi and chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, co-founder of Zero-G Corporation Peter Diamandis) who are hoping to kick-start a new age of space exploration and “ultimately create a better standard of living on Earth”.
The project is so far shrouded in mystery, with speculators (including ourselves) only having the project's name, Planetary Sources, and but a few sentences of description from the parties involved to make up the larger picture. A press conference to be held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle is expected to reveal more about what the investors' true ambitions encompass, but for now...
“A new company will be unveiling its mission to revolutionise current space exploration activities and ultimately create a better standard of living on Earth,” states the Museum of Flight's official website. “Don’t miss your opportunity to be among the first to find out what’s next from the world’s leading commercial space pioneers and the people who will chart the future.”
MIT's Technology Review site continues, “The company will overlay two critical sectors – space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GSP. This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of 'natural resources'.” Sounding distinctly like we've been in cryo sleep for 50-100 years or so and awoken in a world where an indigenous species worships a sacred tree, the project's description so far raises many more questions than it answers. Just what is it the team are looking to gather from outer space? Certainly not fossil fuels from some 'super-Earth', some 22 light years away. Opinion so far seems to gravitate towards the idea of asteroid-mining,which coincidentally is something Planetary Resources co-founder Peter Diamandis talked about when he appeared at TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) in 2005, stating “everything we hold of value on this planet – metal and minerals and real estate and energy is in infinite quantity in space”. He said at the time, “We are on the verge of the greatest exploration the human race has ever known”. Could this be it?