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Private firm plans to initiate ‘multibillion dollar’ asteroid mining industry

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SAN FRANCISCO — A startup backed by top Google executives and film director James Cameron on Tuesday unveiled a plan to mine asteroids for precious minerals and water.

Planetary Resources used a space museum in the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle as a launching pad for a bold plan to prospect on resource-rich chunks of rock not far from Earth in space.

“The promise of Planetary Resources is to apply commercial innovation to space exploration,” said former NASA astronaut Tom Jones, an advisor to the startup.

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“They are developing cost-effective, production-line spacecraft that will visit near-Earth asteroids in rapid succession, increasing our scientific knowledge of these bodies and enabling the economic development of the resources they contain.”

Planetary Resources said that it was “poised to initiate” space mining missions in what it predicted would become a multibillion dollar industry.

A single 500-meter platinum-rich asteroid contains the equivalent of all the Platinum Group Metals mined in history, according to the startup, whose backers include Google co-founders Larry Page and and Eric Schmidt.

“Many of the scarce metals and minerals on Earth are in near-infinite quantities in space,” said Planetary Resources co-founder Peter Diamandis, who created the X Prize.

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“As access to these materials increases, not only will the cost of everything from microelectronics to energy storage be reduced, but new applications for these abundant elements will result in important and novel applications.”

Water-rich near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) could be springboards for deep space exploration by serving as fueling and supply depots, according to the startup.

“Water is perhaps the most valuable resource in space,” said Planetary Resources co-founder Eric Anderson.

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“In addition to supporting life, water will also be separated into oxygen and hydrogen for breathable air and rocket propellant.”

More than 1,500 of the approximately 9,000 known NEAs are as reachable as the moon in terms of how much energy it would take for the trip, according to the startup.

The company has developed the first in what it said will be a family of prospecting spacecraft dubbed Arkyd-100 Series.

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“Our mission is not only to expand the world’s resource base,” said Planetary Resources chief engineer Chris Lewicki.

“We want to increase people’s access to, and understanding of, our planet and solar system by developing capable and cost-efficient systems.”

Watch video, courtesy of the Associated Press, below:

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Marco Rubio says it was a ‘bad look’ for Trump to pick Doral for G7 — after several days of defending the decision

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On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) admitted that it was a "bad look" for President Donald Trump to call for hosting the next annual G7 summit at the Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami, Florida:

“Obviously you know, given everything that's going on, it was a bad look,” Rubio said of G7 at Doral, though he doubts Trump wanted to make money. “As a Floridian I thought it was great that they were going to come down, especially in June when we don't have as many visitors."

— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) October 22, 2019

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‘You lost’: Internet mocks Trump for cheering on ‘great vote’ — that Republicans lost

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee accidentally mistook a satirical article with a fake transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. While Schiff apologized for the error, Trump has called for his immediate impeachment.

Impeachment is outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the section of the founding document gives examples of what they meant by "high crimes and misdemeanors." It does not cite accidentally reading the wrong transcript aloud. Members of Congress cannot be impeached and censure is a toothless resolution that is meaningless.

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2020 Election

Facebook reveals how Russia is already trying to manipulate the 2020 presidential election

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On Monday, in a series of announcements by Facebook, the company revealed it had shut down four new foreign interference operations originating from Russia and Iran. According to their announcement, one appears to be linked to the Russian troll agency, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), and was targeting the U.S. 2020 presidential election.

The company removed 50 Instagram accounts and one account on Facebook that originated in Russia and focused primarily on the United States.

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