The Future of Natural Resources Across the Solar System

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When investing in gold, it is common to hear about the various mines and resources around the planet. What if your next source of gold was outer space? 

Mining precious metals from outer space may not be something from a science fiction movie for much longer, if the company Planetary Resources, Inc. have something to say about it. 

Founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, the mission of Planetary Resources is to explore asteroids near-Earth, find new sources and determine whether harvesting resources is physically and financially, possible.  How do they know the public supports their vision?  They prove that the world is ready for such externally focused projects by asking the public to vote with their dollars. In little more than a month, they are funding their fledgling ARKYD project. 

Has the Future of Mining Already Arrived?

Today,  resources like precious metals are getting a boost from resources such as the internet.  Using this revolution in communications to expand upon outer space exploration, Planetary Resources, as of July 2013, have run one of the most successful campaigns in Kickstarter history. 

Kickstarter, for those who are not familiar with it, is an online website where the general public is able to donate to projects and causes where it takes an interest in with varying amounts of money and  depending on their ability to donate.  The successful campaign, also known as ARKYD, is now set to become the very first public space telescope in existence.  After a campaign that lasted 33 days, more than 17,000 people backed the project at a total cost over USD$1,000,000. 

What is the Reward for Donors?

Is there anything in it for the donors?  They will be directly contributing in a revolutionary space research project and  they will also have their photo displayed on the satellite with an image recorded, providing each donor with a space souvenir they will surely treasure.  Other donors who could not make a financial contribution or could only make a small one, donated time in the form of Education, Research and Development, which showed their support for the cause.

Many are happy to see the motion of destruction and exploration for the sake of metal and mineral resources move from our own planet to asteroids, where there are (as far as we know) no affected lifeforms. 

When Will ARKYD Launch?

Currently, the launch date for ARKYD is in 2015.  It takes some time to put together a project of this size and nature!  Additionally, this project is multi-faceted and there are many functions of the satellite to consider apart from examining the content of asteroids.  There will also be facilities for discovering and tracking new asteroids which orbit around and near the planet Earth.  Not only will ARKYD look to explore natural resources, but it will look to expand our understanding of outer space as it will be outfitted with the ability for independent researchers to record images of space and make their own discoveries.  It is being seen as a tool created by the public, and will be used by the public to better understand our solar system and universe, and exactly how the powers of both can be harnessed using the technology we have here and now on Earth. 

Sharon Freeman is an Australian freelance writer and blogger.  She loves investing, design, gold and reviewing companies.

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