SAN FRANCISCO – Google CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page have teamed up with director James Cameron for a major space exploration project.
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)