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Although action film director, visual effects inventor, scientist and explorer, James Cameron, has just piloted a submarine to the deepest place on Earth, he has not forgone his fascination for that other realm – outer space.

Cameron is an advisor to Planetary Resources, a company that is planning to investigate the composition of near-Earth asteroids and then mine them. Thought to contain vast amounts of precious metals and water, co-founder Peter Diamandis says, “The entire human race will be the beneficiary as we expand our reach beyond the Earth into the solar system.”

The Planetary Resources’ mission to bring the natural resources of space into humanity’s economic sphere of influence is based partially on the beliefs that, “one asteroid may contain more platinum than has been mined in all of history,” and that, “resources from asteroids will add tens of billions of dollars annually to the global GDP.”

Previously only accessible to governments and large corporations, today small teams of investors and inventors are entering the space game through commercial innovation at a much faster pace.

Planetary Resources expects to change the way the world thinks about natural resources. Cameron says he is, “as committed to the exploration of space as he is to the exploration and conservation of the oceans.”

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