James Cameron, Google Executives, Billionaires to Mine for Asteroids?

PHOTO: James Cameron emerging from the hatch. of DEEPSEA CHALLENGER
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Film director James Cameron, Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and billionaire Ross Perot Jr. along with a number of other incredible minds plan to take on outer space.

"If you put two Google billionaires with Microsoft billionaires with some astronauts together, you can't go wrong," said Michio Kaku, a physics professor at City University of New York.

Just what they're up to is still a mystery but they've announced that they're forming a new "space exploration company to expand earth's resource base," that will create "a new industry and a new definition of natural resources."

What does that mean?

"I can tell you that since I was a boy I've wanted to be an asteroid miner," Peter Diamandis, founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation told Forbes.

Asteroid Mining

This is no moon mission.

No man has ever drilled into an asteroid.

Instead of blowing an asteroid up, the idea would be to take resources out -- minerals and compounds that may not even exist on earth could be worth millions.

It's an expensive, high-risk, dangerous endeavor.

But with America's space program winding down, Kaku and others say entrepreneurs must take on the charge of space exploration.

"I think private enterprise will boldly go where governments fear to tread. And I think the space program has been in purgatory in the last few years. NASA is an agency to nowhere. So, we need private enterprise, especially people with deep pockets to help jump start the program and maybe mining the heavens is just the ticket," Kaku said.

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