Update: Last week we shared that James Cameron was one of a small handful of billionaires poised to announce a potentially life-changing company that would mine asteroids in space. Well, now that Planetary Resources has made their intentions public to the world, experts have begun to analyze what exactly this means and why anyone who isn't going to become ridiculously rich off of it should care about asteroid mining. Turns out, it's going to have a grand effect on economies and consumers all over the world, and possibly some not even on this planet.
The below video is a good sales pitch for the company, but for an objective analysis on what it all means, we recommend Discover Magazine's Bad Astronomy blog.
When James Cameron locked himself inside a tube about the size of a coffee table and descended to the deepest part of the ocean, a lot of people applauded the Titanic director for using his own money to advance scientific research. At the same time, more cynical people took Cameron to task for the stunt, saying that he was little more than an eccentric rich guy who wanted to buy his way into the record books.
Well, if you were one of those who wasn't impressed by Cameron's last scientific endeavor, we're curious to know what you think about this one: He's joining a pair of Google bigwigs and several other tech titans to start up Planetary Resources, a "new space venture with a mission to help ensure humanity's prosperity." And if that sounds like something right out of one of Cameron's own movies, you might be right.
Their mission plan won't be revealed until a press conference on April 24th, but industry regulars are predicting that Planetary Resources will be an asteroid-mining company. That's right, Cameron is taking a cue from corporations in his own futuristic stories and is setting his sights on making a spaceship full of money off of carving into floating space rocks and bringing the resources back to Earth. Of course, in both Avatar and Aliens, the companies that did this ended up seeing a spike in employee mortality rate, but presumably he's ignoring that side of things for the time being.
And in unrelated James Cameron news, a recent interview with MTV has revealed he still plans to make his long-in-development Battle Angel movie, partly because he just doesn't want to see anyone but him make it, "It would have to be pried out of my cold, dead fingers. But on the other hand I don’t want to take it to my grave, either." See his full remarks regarding the cyborg-centered film and when he'll be able to even get to it below.