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ExoLance
Startup announces asteroid mining venture
Posted: Wed, Apr 25, 2012, 6:35 AM ET (1035 GMT)
Arkyd-200 asteroid spacecraft (Planetary Resources) A startup company unveiled plans on Tuesday to develop a series of missions to prospect for water and other resources on near Earth asteroids and eventually those resources. Seattle-based Planetary Resources, Inc., plans to launch the first of its Arkyd line of spacecraft within two years. The small spacecraft will remain in Earth orbit, equipped with a telescope and sensors to identify asteroids with high amounts of water and other volatiles. Those asteroids will be visited by later missions, with ultimate plans to extract water ice from them to supply propellant depots. The company is also interested in later extracting precious metals from asteroids. The company is backed by a group of celebrity investors, including Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and Ross Perot, Jr.
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