One of the typical dangers of space mining.
Anyone who’s watched Alien or Avatar or played a Dead Space game knows space mining is something to be avoided. Sure, tapping into the riches of the galaxy may seem like a good idea, but the risk of being turned into a cannibalistic mutant, having something burst out of your chest, or unintentionally getting roped into a relationship some moody blue chick is just too high.
Well, despite these well-documented drawbacks, a bunch of rich guys have founded an actual, real-life company to mine asteroids. The company’s name is Planetary Resources Inc. and it employs ex-NASA engineers, scientists and astronauts and is backed by several billionaires, including James Cameron. Yeah, you’d think Cameron would realize the dangers of space mining better than anybody — look for him to start work on Skynet as soon as this meteor-mining thing is set up.
According to Planetary Resources, they plan to launch their first spacecraft as early as 2013. This spacecraft will be used to locate and examine nearby asteroids to see if they’re made of stuff worth mining and, presumably, document the number of xenomorph eggs in their craters. If an asteroid made of suitably expensive stuff is found, it’s not entirely clear how it will actually be mined. Mining bots could be sent to collect minerals, or a small spacecraft could be designed to tow an entire asteroid back to earth.
It all sounds a bit far-fetched, until you realize that this thing is being backed by the founders of Google. If you told me 10-years ago that a company that started as just another search engine would one day be able to spy on my backyard from space, I’d say that was far-fetched too. So yeah, look for space miner jobs to start hitting Monster.com soon.