Staking claims in Space


It looks like a dog bone and takes up as much space as New Brunswick. They call it Kleopatra with a K and it is one of an estimated 15-hundred near-Earth asteroids, ripe for mineral exploration and extraction. Kleopatra, which is all metal, would be worth untold wealth if you could get there and start mining. And in the wake of the Google gang's plan to back a company called Planetary Resources to mine asteroids for precious metals and water, there are lost of questions about what you can own and what you can bring-on-home-and-sell when it comes to space.

Part Three of The Current

Staking claims in Space

Peter Diamandis is co-founder of Planetary Resources. It's a U.S. start up that plans to send robots into space to mine asteroids and return raw material to earth. It believes everything from water to precious metals are available -- out there. And it says extracting those resources will add "trillions" to the global GDP ... benefiting the entire human race.

Lofty goals. The company is owned by billionaires Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google and film director James Cameron, so money won't be a problem. But just who has the right to profit from the last frontier?

Our next guest says that space exploration is only a natural extension of capitalism. Art Dula is a lawyer who specializes in space law and teaches at the University of Houston. And that's where we reached him this morning. And Pamela Meredith is the Chair of the Space Law Practice Group at Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger and an adjunct professor of space law at American University. Pamela Meredith joined us from Washington.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kathleen Goldhar, Gord Westmacott and Kristin Nelson.

Last Word - Manhunt by Peter Bergen

Coming up tomorrow on The Current, it's the one year anniversary of the U-S military's spectacular raid in Pakistan that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden. I'll speak with a man who's written a book on that raid and the ten years leading up to it . Peter Bergen is the author of Manhunt -- and does he have some stories; many revealed for the first time in his book.

One year ago tonight, the President of the United States was enjoying himself at the annual White House correspondent's dinner. He gave no indication that he'd just ordered the Navy SEALs to fly into Abbotabad and eliminate bin Laden. It wasn't certain the Al Qaeda leader was there -- but Obama showed no anxiety -- he even laughed broadly when a comedian told bin Laden jokes. The US president may have a future as a world class poker player when he grows tired of politics.

On today's Last Word, Seth Meyers hams it up at the correspondent's dinner, just hours before a decade-long game of hide-and-seek ended in gunfire.

Other segments from today's show:

Alberta Highway 63

Sudan's border in a state of emergency

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