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James Cameron-backed Planetary Resources to search the universe for Unobtainium

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Planetary Resources will reportedly announce later today that it's developing and selling low-cost spacecraft to mine asteroids close to the Earth. The space exploration and natural resources venture is led by X-Prize creator Peter Diamandis, Eric Anderson and NASA's former Mars chief, Chris Lewicki -- with cash backing from James Cameron, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page amongst others. Within a decade, the company hopes to kickstart a 21st century gold rush by selling orbiting observation platforms to prospectors with significant rewards -- a 30-meter long asteroid could hold as much as $50 billion worth of platinum at today's prices. The company's own teaser materials promised that the project would add "trillions of dollars" to the world's GDP, which sounds like a film we saw recently.

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