A group of hi-tech tycoons including Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt have teamed up with explorer and film-maker James Cameron in a venture to mine nearby asteroids, hoping to turn science fiction into real profits.
The megamillion dollar plan is to use commercially built robotic ships to squeeze rocket fuel and valuable minerals such as platinum and gold out of the rocks that routinely whizz by Earth, with the aim of having a space-based fuel station up and running by 2020.
The inaugural step, to be achieved in the next 18 to 24 months, would be to launch the first of a series of private telescopes that would search for rich asteroid targets.
The entrepreneurs announcing the project in Seattle on Tuesday have a track record of making big money off ventures into space. »
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